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Circular and linear polarization of comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT). Why circular polarization in comets is predominantly left-handed?

DOI: 10.1615/ICHMT.2007.ConfElectromagLigScat.480
pages 181-184

V. Rosenbush
Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Zabolotnoho str.27, 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine

N. Kiselev
Main Astronomical Observatory of National Academy of Science of Ukraine, Zabolotnoho str.27, 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine

N. Shakhovskoy
Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, 98409 Nauchny, Crimea, Ukraine

S. Kolesnikov
Astronomical Observatory of Odessa National University, T. G. Shevchenko Park, 65014 Odessa, Ukraine

V. Breus
Astronomical Observatory of Odessa National University, T. G. Shevchenko Park, 65014 Odessa, Ukraine

Abstrakt

We present the results of new polarimetric observations of comet C/2001 Q4 (NEAT). Measurements of circular and linear polarization were made with the 2.6-m Shain telescope of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory on May 21-23, 2004. A significant correlation between variations of circular and linear polarization measured along the cuts through the coma and nucleus of the comet was found. It means that single scattering of light on aligned non-spherical dust particles can produce circular as well as linear polarization. We call particular attention to the fact that the measured circular polarization in four comets, lP/Halley, C/1995 01 (Hale-Bopp), D/1999 S4 (LINEAR) and C/2001 Q4 (NEAT), was predominately left-handed. This question is discussed in the frame of light scattering by optically active organic particles.

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