Polarization of Light Scattered by Cometary Dust Particles: Observations and Tentative Interpretations
- Cite this article as:
- Levasseur-Regourd, AC. Space Science Reviews (1999) 90: 163. doi:10.1023/A:1005250131509
- 95 Downloads
Analysis of the polarization of light scattered by cometary particles reveals similarities amongst the phase curves, together with some clear differences: i) comets with a strong silicate emission feature present a high maximum in polarization, ii) the polarization is always slightly lower than the average in inner comae and stronger in jet-like structures. These results are in excellent agreement with the Greenberg model of dust particles built up of fluffy aggregates of much smaller grains. Also, they suggest the existence of different regions of formation, and of different stages of evolution for the scattering particles inside a given cometary coma.