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Physical Properties of Cometary Dust

  • J.A.M. McDonnell (a1), P.L. Lamy (a2) and G.S. Pankiewicz (a1)


Prior to the 1986 apparition of comet Halley, all attempts to determine the physical properties of cometary dust were limited to remote observations and the analysis of various particles captured by the Earth’s atmosphere. The in situ measurements made by the three spacecraft that passed within 10,000 km of the nucleus provided the first opportunity to investigate both the full size-range of particles and the complete process of dust production. Information on composition is derived through mass spectra and the scattering and emission of light from the grains, whilst the dynamics of the dust coma can be modeled from the three separate sets of measurements made over a period of eight days.

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Physical Properties of Cometary Dust

  • J.A.M. McDonnell (a1), P.L. Lamy (a2) and G.S. Pankiewicz (a1)


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