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Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 79, Issue 1–3, pp 103–124 | Cite as

Radio Line Observations Of Molecular And Isotopic Species In Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp)

  • D. Despois
Article

Abstract

We present here a review of the radio observations of the remarkable comet Hale-Bopp C/1995 O1 in which most major radio astronomical facilities have been involved. These observations started in August 1995, soon after the discovery of the comet (it was then at ∼7 AU from the sun), and well before its perihelion on April 1st, 1997; they are still going on, hopefully up to end of 1998. Extended cartographies have been obtained using multibeam receivers and on-the-fly techniques. High spatial resolution (a few ″) has been achieved with interferometers. Submillimetric observations are playing an increasing role, and high resolution (R ∼ 106−107) spectroscopy of cometary lines is now performed from decimetric to submillimetric wavelengths.

The number of species observed at radio wavelengths now reaches ∼28,when it was ∼14 for comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake. Most of these species are parent molecules. However, ions have been observed for the first time at radio wavelengths, and their velocities measured. Several isotopic species (involving D,13C,34S,15N) have been sought, allowing isotopic enrichment determinations.

The abundances of cometary molecules present many similarities and some differences with the abundances of interstellar molecules in regions where grain mantles are believed to be evaporated to the gas phase (hot cores, bipolar flows). They will be discussed for their implications on the origin of cometary ices and of comets themselves.

C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) comets radio spectroscopy observations molecules isotopic ratios 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Despois
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire de BordeauxFloiracFrance

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