Space Science Reviews

, Volume 90, Issue 1–2, pp 163–168

Polarization of Light Scattered by Cometary Dust Particles: Observations and Tentative Interpretations

  • A.-Chantal Levasseur-Regourd

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005250131509

Cite this article as:
Levasseur-Regourd, AC. Space Science Reviews (1999) 90: 163. doi:10.1023/A:1005250131509


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.

Comets Dust particles Scattering Polarization 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • A.-Chantal Levasseur-Regourd

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