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Astron. Astrophys. 319, 694-698 (1997)

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A polarization study of comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2)

U.C. Joshi , K.S. Baliyan , S. Ganesh , A. Chitre , H.O. Vats and M.R. Deshpande

Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad 380 009, India

Received 30 May 1996 / Accepted 21 August 1996


Observations for the linear polarization of comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) are carried out at three continuum wavebands: 3650Å, 4845Å  and 6840Å. These observations were taken on March 13 and March 18, 1996 when the phase angles were 38.1 and [FORMULA], respectively. These results indicate an increase in the degree of polarization with phase angle and wavelength, in general. Present results show that comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) exhibits similar behaviour as comet P/Halley so far as the polarization property is concerned, indicating thereby that the grain size distribution may not be very much different from that of the comet Halley. We also produce theoretical curve for the polarization percentage as a function of phase angle and compare with the observed data. The polarization at various wavebands shows a sensitive behaviour in the phase angle range 20 [FORMULA].

Key words: polarization – comets: P/Halley; Hyakutake 1996 B2

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: July 3, 1998