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HYDROGEN-CYANIDE IN COMETS - EXCITATION CONDITIONS AND RADIO OBSERVATIONS OF COMET IRAS-ARAKI-ALCOCK 1983D

Abstract
The HCN emission of the pure rotation and rotation/vibration lines in comet IRAS-Araki-Alcock 1983d is examined. The prevailing excitation mechanism for the emissions was the excitation of the nu-2, 2 nu-2, and nu-3 vibrational bands by the solar infrared field. For the description of inner coma, a dynamical excitation model is presented which includes collisions. It is predicted on the basis of the model that HCN molecules in rotation and rotation vibration lines of IRAS-Araki-Alcock 1983d would be detectable with a large-millimeter wave telescope, and that the strongest infrared lines would be observable from space observatories. Subsequent searches for the J = 1-0 HCN radio lines in comet 1983d with the Five College Radio Astronomy Observatory (FCRAO) proved unsuccessful. An extremely low upper limit was found for HCN production which suggests that HCN might not be the only parent of planetary cometary CN.
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1984
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