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date: 03 December 2022

Mass Erosion and Transport on Cometary Nuclei, as Found on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkolocked

Mass Erosion and Transport on Cometary Nuclei, as Found on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkolocked

  • Wing-Huen IpWing-Huen IpInstitute of Astronomy, National Central University, Taiwan

Summary

The Rosetta spacecraft rendezvoused with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014–2016 and observed its surface morphology and mass loss process. The large obliquity (52°) of the comet nucleus introduces many novel physical effects not known before. These include the ballistic transport of dust grains from the southern hemisphere to the northern hemisphere during the perihelion passage, thus shaping the dichotomy of two sides, with the northern hemisphere largely covered by dust layers from the recycled dusty materials (back fall) and the southern hemisphere consisting mostly of consolidated terrains. A significant amount of surface material up to 4–10 m in depth could be transferred across the nucleus surface in each orbit. New theories of the physical mechanisms driving the outgassing and dust ejection effects are being developed. There is a possible connection between the cometary dust grains and the fluffy aggregates and pebbles in the solar nebula in the framework of the streaming-instability scenario. The Rosetta mission thus succeeded in fulfilling one of its original scientific goals concerning the origin of comets and their relation to the formation of the solar system.

Subjects

  • Planetary Surfaces
  • Small Bodies
  • Planetary Chemistry and Cosmochemistry

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