OBSERVATIONS OF HCN IN COMET P/HALLEY
Journal or Book Title
ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS
The authors present observations of the HCN J = 1-0 rotational transition at 3.4 mm wavelength in comet P/Halley. The data were obtained during a total of 56 individual observing sessions between November 1985 and May 1986. The HCN production rate is well correlated with the total visual magnitude of the comet, and comparison of the HCN production to the total gas production of the comet indicates that it is a relatively minor constituent with 0.1% the abundance of H2O. Comparison of HCN and CN production suggests that HCN is a major parent molecule of CN. HCN spectra obtained by binning the data with heliocentric distance show that the line width, and thus the parent outflow velocity, increases with decreasing heliocentric distance, and that there is a tendency for the lines to be blue shifted due to anisotropic outgassing from the nucleus. Finally, there is evidence of day-to-day time variability in the total HCN emission and in the hyperfine ratios.
Schloerb, FP; KINZEL, WM; SWADE, DA; and IRVINE, WM, "OBSERVATIONS OF HCN IN COMET P/HALLEY" (1987). ASTRONOMY AND ASTROPHYSICS. 513.
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