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C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp)
The OH+ Plasma and the inner Dust Shells

Date:15.3.1997 Time:2:20 UT Exposure:300s
Field of View:7' x 7' Receiver:5122 CCD Filter:IF 360
Instrument: D=2m,f=5.6m Observatory: Pik Terskol, Caucasus Observer:T. Credner, K. Jockers

This is Comet Hale-Bopp observed with a narrow-band interference filter at 360nm. In this range are several line emissions of OH+ ions. But also the scattered continuum radiation of the large dust particles is present. From pure continuum observations we know that the inner part of this image is dominated by the already known dust shells, but the outer regions show strong plasma activity in form of fine structured turbulent rays and envelopes. An interesting question is, does the plasma shows interaction with these dust shells? This comet gives us for the first time the opportunity, to study the OH+ plasma, its motion and creation, close to the nucleus and even in front of it.
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Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie