Advertisement

Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 78, Issue 1–3, pp 169–177 | Cite as

The Visual Light Curve Of C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) From Discovery To Late 1997

  • M. R. Kidger
  • G. Hurst
  • N. James
Article

Abstract

We present a light curve of C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) compiledfrom more than 3000 visual observations of the comet made by members of the The Astronomer Group world-wide. These observations cover the period from discovery through to the end of 1997. The light curve shows that the rate of brightening of the comet varied widely at different times, with rapid rates of brightening at high heliocentric distance pre-perhelion and a comparably rapid post-perihelion fade. There is no evidence that the comet was suffering a large photometric outburst when first discovered, although a small outburst can be identified at perihelion. At least five difficult brightening regimes can be identified in the light curve between discovery and perihelion. From 2.5 AU to perihelion the rate of brightening with decreasing heliocentric distance was typical for “fairly” new comets(n ∼ 3.5, where “n” is the power law exponent of the heliocentric distance), although this was preceded by a period of very slow brightening with n ∼ 1 from r ∼ 4.0 AU to r ∼ 2.8 AU and followed by an initially more rapid brightening which appears to be related to the on-set of rapid water sublimation activity. We derive the light curve parameters at different stages of the comet's apparition.

Comets named objects C/1997 O1 (Hale-Bopp) photometry 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Kidger, M. R.: 1996, ‘Light Curve Behaviour in C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp)–II. Changes in the Activity between 13 AU and 2.5 AU Pre-Perihelion', Earth, Moon, and Planets 75, 87.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Oort, J. and Schmidt, X.: 1951, Bulletin of the Astronomical Institute of the Netherlands 11, 259.ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. Prialnik, D.: 1997, ‘A Model for the Distant Activity of Comet Hale-Bopp’, Ap. J. 478, L107.CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. R. Kidger
    • 1
  • G. Hurst
    • 2
  • N. James
    • 2
  1. 1.Instituto de Astrofísica de Canariasc/Via LácteaTenerifeSpain
  2. 2.Astronomical Association – CometSectionThe AstronomerHampshireUK & British

Personalised recommendations