Journal Article

Ion Tail Disturbance of Comet C/Hyakutake 1996B2 Observed around the Closest Approach to the Earth

Daisuke Kinoshita, Hideo Fukushima, Jun-ichi Watanabe and Naotaka Yamamoto

in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan

Volume 48, issue 5, pages L83-L86
Published in print October 1996 | ISSN: 0004-6264
Published online October 1996 | e-ISSN: 2053-051X | DOI:

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  • Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics
  • Planetary Systems


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A sequential imaging observation of the ion tail of Comet C/Hyakutake 1996B2 was carried out on 1996 March 25 with a wide-field CCD imaging camera developed at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. We detected a peculiar knot receding along the main axis of the ion tail during our observation. This knot was located at 5.0 × 106 km from the nucleus on March 25.6 UT, and moved about 2.0 × 106 km during 5 hr. The measured velocity along the axis of the ion tail was derived to be 99.2 ± 0.3 km s−1 , which is almost constant within the observational limit. We also measured the perpendicular motion of this knot to the axis, and identified rapid acceleration. The brightness of the knot decreased during the observation. We report on preliminary results of an analysis of this phenomenon, and discuss some characteristics in this paper.

Keywords: Comets: individual (Comet C/Hyakutake 1996B2); Interplanetary medium; Magnetic field; Plasmas

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics ; Planetary Systems