Can the sodium tail of comet Hale-Bopp have a dust-impact origin?

W. H. Ip, L. Jorda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Consideration is given to the possible mechanisms responsible for the production of the atomic sodium tail of comet Hale-Bopp. It is shown that both photosputtering and ion sputtering of nonvolatile dust grains might not be the main driving force. Instead, the generation of impact vapor by collisional interaction between the cometary dust coma of micron-sized particles and the very small grains (VSGs) of 10-100 A size could possibly account for the observations if a large amount of VSGs existed in the coma region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L47-L49
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART II
StatePublished - 1998


  • Comets: General
  • Radiation mechanisms: Nonthermal


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