Photopolarimetric observations of comet Austin with the IAU/IHW filter system were obtained on the 2.34 m Vainu Bappu Telescope (VBT) of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, at Kavalur, India, during pre-perihelion phase on February 20,1990 and on the 1.2 m telescope of the Physical Research Laboratory at Gurusikhar, Mount Abu during postperihelion phase on May 2 and 4, 1990. The comet appeared bluer than a solar analog during post-perihelion phase on May 2 and 4. The percent polarization shows a sharp increase towards the red on May 2 and 4. The dominant sizes of the dust particles appear to lie in a narrow range of 0.1 to 0.5 Μm. Regarding the molecular band emission, CN and C2 bands are quite strong; C3 emission was also found to be strong though the observations on May 2 and 4 show significant variation as compared to C2 emission. Molecular band polarization for CN, C3, C2 and H2 O+ have been calculated. It has been found that emission polarization in CN, C2 and C3 is between 1–7% (phase angle between 107.4–109 degrees). For CN and C2 the polarization values are close to the theoretically predicted values, but for C3 the polarization value falls much below the theoretically predicted value. A similar result was found for comet Halley.
Volume 40 | Issue 5
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