The International Solar-Terrestrial Physics (ISTP) project
consists of a powerful complement of spacecraft, ground-based observatories
and theoretical investigations aimed at studying the Sun-Earth system in a
global context. Several of the ISTP missions however are able to divert their
powerfull "eyes" toward Hale-Bopp, and to provide some unique comet observations.|
The POLAR spacecraft is uniquely able to image the
comet near perihelion at a time when other imaging systems can't view the
comet becuase it is too close to the sun. In addition, POLAR can image the
comet in multiple wavelengths, including ultraviolet observations that are not possible from the ground because of absorption in the atmosphere.
UPDATE!!! (April 25, 1997):
Results from POLAR observations of
Hale-Bopp including co-discovery of a new comet tail.
In addition to the imaging opportunities, the ISTP WIND and SOHO
spacecraft offer another interesting and unique opportunity related to
Hale-Bopp. Specifically, the ISTP probes are uniquely position to shed
some light on the interaction and effect of the solar wind on the comet.
NASA and ESA scientists are on watch status
disconnection of the ion tail.