Interpretation of spectrophotometric surface properties of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by laboratory simulations of cometary analogs

Abstract : The OSIRIS imaging system [1] onboard European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has been orbiting the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) since August 2014. It provides an enormous quantity of high resolution images of the nucleus in the visible spectral range. 67P revealed an unexpected diversity of complex surface structures and spectral properties have also been measured [2]. To better interpret this data, a profound knowledge of laboratory analogs of cometary surfaces is essential. For this reason we have set up the LOSSy laboratory (Laboratory for Outflow Studies of Sublimating Materials) to study the spectrophotometric properties of ice-bearing cometary nucleus analogs. The main focus lies on the characterization of the surface evolution under simulated space conditions. The laboratory is equipped with two facilities: the PHIRE-2 radio-goniometer [3], designed to measure the bidirectional visible reflectance of samples under a wide range of geometries and the SCITEAS simulation chamber [4], designed to study the evolution of icy samples subliming under low pressure/temperature conditions by hyperspectral imaging in the VIS-NIR range. Different microscopes complement the two facilities. We present laboratory data of different types of fine grained ice particles mixed with non-volatile components (complex organic matter and minerals). As the ice sublimes, a deposition lag of non-volatile constituents is built-up on top of the ice, possibly mimic a cometary surface. The bidirectional reflectance of the samples have been characterized before and after the sublimation process. A comparison of our laboratory findings with recent OSIRIS data [5] will be presented.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 2:34:05 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 11:12:02 PM

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Bernhard Jost, Antoine Pommerol, Olivier Poch, Nathalie Carrasco, Cyril Szopa, et al.. Interpretation of spectrophotometric surface properties of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by laboratory simulations of cometary analogs. 47th DPS Annual Meeting, Nov 2015, Washington, United States. pp.413.02. ⟨insu-01227996⟩

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