Production of ethane and water in comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake

Neil Dello Russo, Michael J. Mumma, Michael A. DiSanti, Karen Magee-Sauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Ethane (C2H6) and water (H2O) were detected in Comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake between UT 1996 March 23.4 (Rh = 1.08 AU preperihelion) and 1996 April 12.2 (Rh = 0.64 AU preperihelion). Our long-slit infrared spectra featured both high spectral dispersion and high spatial resolution about the nucleus, permitting the extraction of rotational temperatures, production rates, and spatial distributions of species along the slit. Production rates were measured for water (on four dates) and ethane (on three dates). Their average relative abundance was C2H6/H2O = (6.2 ± 0.7) × 10-3. The spatial distributions of C2H6 and H2O molecules in the coma were consistent with both species being released directly from the nucleus on all dates, although asymmetries about the nucleus are seen for both gas and dust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-1 - 5-11
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Planets
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 25 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Oceanography


Dive into the research topics of 'Production of ethane and water in comet C/1996 B2 Hyakutake'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this