Physical Study of Comets, Minor Planets and Meteorites

  • Ľ. Kresák
  • J. Rahe
  • M. F. A’Hearn
  • C. Arpigny
  • C. R. Chapman
  • O. V. Dobrovolsky
  • H. Fechtig
  • A. W. Harris
  • H. F. Haupt
  • L. M. Shulman
  • J. T. Wasson
  • S. Wyckoff
  • V. Zappalà
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUT)


The period covered by this report, 1984 July to 1987 June, was of extraordinary importance for the progress of cometary physics. For the first time in the history, special space probes were launched to comets. Vega 1, Vega 2 and Giotto encountered P/Halley, providing us with the first close-up pictures of a cometary nucleus, its surface features, and with the first in situ measurements of the matter escaping from it. ICE, Suisei and Sakigake carried out measurements relevant to P/Giacobini-Zinner and P/Halley in interplanetary space. Unprecedented worldwide campaigns of ground-based observations, with the participation of about 1000 professional and 2000 amateur astronomers, were coordinated in 8 sections of the International Halley Watch. Additional measurements were made from artificial satellites, sounding rockets, and highflying airplanes. The wealth of data collected in this way, to a major extent thanks to an excellent international cooperation, represents a milestone in cometary astronomy. Another important step was the progress in processing the extensive 1983 IRAS observations of minor planets and comets, including the discovery of asteroid dust bands and cometary dust trails.

L’étude Physique des Comètes, des Petites Planètes et des Météorites


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Copyright information

© International Astronomical Union 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ľ. Kresák
  • J. Rahe
  • M. F. A’Hearn
  • C. Arpigny
  • C. R. Chapman
  • O. V. Dobrovolsky
  • H. Fechtig
  • A. W. Harris
  • H. F. Haupt
  • L. M. Shulman
  • J. T. Wasson
  • S. Wyckoff
  • V. Zappalà

There are no affiliations available

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