Analysis of the rotation of comet Halley

K. Szegö, A. Kondor, S. Larson, E. Merènyi, R. Z. Sagdeev, B. A. Smith, I. Tòth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


The nucleus of P/Halley rotates as a slightly asymmetric top, the orientation of the rotation axis (i.e., the orientation of the angular momentum vector) is 1 = 39°, b = -54° in the ecliptic system. The error zone is a cone about this axis with a half opening angle of 15°. In the rotation of an asymmetric top the rotation axis is not fixed rigidly to the body; this means that while the nucleus rotates about the axis with the short period of 2.2 +/-.05 days, its long axis "nods" periodically with the long period of 7.4 +/-.05 days. The amplitude of the "nodding" is about 14° +/- 3° in both directions relative to a plane perpendicular to the rotation axis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-76
Number of pages4
JournalAdvances in Space Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Geophysics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Szegö, K., Kondor, A., Larson, S., Merènyi, E., Sagdeev, R. Z., Smith, B. A., & Tòth, I. (1989). Analysis of the rotation of comet Halley. Advances in Space Research, 9(3), 73-76.