Observations of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) at the Burrell Schmidt Telescope

E. J. Mierkiewicz, W. M. Harris, F. Scherb, K.H. Nordsieck (University of Wisconsin)

Images of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) were collected at the Burrell Schmidt Telescope (Kitt Peak, AZ) on March 25-28 and April 8, 1997 UT (as Hale-Bopp was near perihelion). Imaging in various spectral bands is a useful technique to study cometary dust/gas morphology, production rates, and dynamical structures. Six filters were selected to isolate dust (i.e. continuum) and gas emissions from Hale-Bopp. The central wavelength/band pass for each filter (in angstroms) are: CN 3870/62, C2 5141/118, C3 4062/62, OH 3090/62, and continuum at 4450/67 and 5260/56. The Burrell Schmidt is a 0.61 meter (f/3.5) telescope with a total field of view of 69 x 69 arc minutes and a plate scale of approximately 2 arc seconds per pixel on a 2048 x 2048 CCD. Dust and gas radial and angular distributions are being investigated. Images and results available at the time of the DPS meeting will be presented.

The Burrell Schmidt telescope is owned by the Warner and Swasey Observatory of Case Western Reserve University and operated by the National Optical Astronomy Observatories jointly for CWRU and the National Science Foundation.

This research is funded by NSF grant AST-9615625 and NASA grant NAG5-5091.