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Comet C/1996 Q1 (Tabur)

Date:6.10.1996 Time:1:42 UT Exposure:10m, 2x10m, 10m
Field of View:7.1' x 4.7' Receiver:5122 + (576x387) CCD Filter:IF 614, IF642+IF443, IF 426
Instrument: D=2m, f=5.6m Observatory: Pik Terskol, Caucasus Observer:K. Jockers, T. Credner, T. Bonev

© Copyright by the observers

Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie

In autumn 1996 comet Tabur was faintly visible to the naked eye. The cometary H2O+, dust, and CO+ was observed with the filters IF 614, IF642 + IF443 (both continuum), and IF 426. In the above image these images are represented in red, green, and blue, respectively. Actually all used filters transmit the solar continuum radiation. So the seen gray to green light filling most of the field of view is the cometary dust that scatters the solar radiation. Quite different is the appearence of the cometary ions. H2O+ and CO+ (red + blue = magenta) show up in a narrow anti solar tail and a pair of tailrays. In the so called "pile up" region at the solar side close to the nucleus (left), the cometary ions are created by interaction with the solar wind and the solar UV radiation. Here the CO+ is dominating (blue) and probably a new pair of tailrays is in the process of creation.

The green and magenta colored stripes are star trails that appear during the long exposures of the moving comet. The blue exposure was taken simultaneously to the red image with a second CCD-camera.

Some more informations can be found on the special project page of the Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie.