Composition-dependent outgassing of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from ROSINA/DFMS. Implications for nucleus heterogeneity?

Abstract : Early measurements of Rosetta’s target comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), showed a strongly heterogeneous coma in H2O, CO, and CO2. Aims. The purpose of this work is to further investigate the coma heterogeneity of 67P, and to provide predictions for the near- perihelion outgassing profile based on the proposed explanations. Methods. Measurements of various minor volatile species by ROSINA/DFMS on board Rosetta are examined. The analysis focuses on the currently poorly illuminated winter (southern) hemisphere of 67P. Results. Coma heterogeneity is not limited to the major outgassing species. Minor species show better correlation with either H2O or CO2. The molecule CH4 shows a different diurnal pattern from all other analyzed species. Such features have implications for nucleus heterogeneity and thermal processing. Conclusions. Future analysis of additional volatiles and modeling the heterogeneity are required to better understand the observed coma profile.
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Submitted on : Monday, September 28, 2015 - 5:19:38 PM
Last modification on : Friday, September 20, 2019 - 8:20:04 AM

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A. Luspay-Kuti, M. Hässig, S. A. Fuselier, K. E. Mandt, K. Altwegg, et al.. Composition-dependent outgassing of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from ROSINA/DFMS. Implications for nucleus heterogeneity?. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2015, 583, A4 (8 p.). ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201526205⟩. ⟨insu-01206306⟩

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