Structure and Formation of Comets: Updates from Post-Rosetta Solid Fraction Analyses

Abstract : he combination of investigations of 67P/C-G by Rosetta, theoretical and experimental studies, and remote observations allowed unprecedented insight into the structure and formation of comets. Rosetta mission has provided ground-truth for the low-density and high porosity of the nucleus, without heterogeneities larger than a few meters in its small lobe [1,2]. Further studies related to CONSERT experiment now suggest that the porosity increases inside the nucleus [3,4]. Rosetta has also provided ground-truth for the aggregated structure of dust particles within a wide range of sizes in the inner coma [e.g. 5-7]. Such discoveries confirm previous interpretations of remote observations of solar light scattered by dust in cometary comae. Differences in structure between the two parts of the nucleus, strongly suspected from previous high-resolution images of the surface [8] and possibly suggested from some remote observations in fragmenting sub-nuclei [9], might be pointed out from data obtained shortly before Rosetta controlled descent in September 2016. Further analyses by MIDAS of dust particles morphology at submicron-sizes [7,10], as well as compilations of remote observations of solar light scattered by 67P/C-G [11], are presently taking place. We will discuss how such results could lead to a better understanding of dust growth processes during the formation, specifically of 67P/C-G, and more generally, thanks to the link now provided between structural properties of dust and remote polarimetric observations, of comet’s nuclei in the early Solar System. References. 1 Kofman et al. Science 2015. 2 Pätzold et al. Nature 2016. 3 Ciarletti et al. A&A 2015. 4 Brouet et al. MNRAS
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 4:18:10 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 25, 2019 - 4:34:11 PM

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  • HAL Id : insu-01401618, version 1

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Anny Chantal Levasseur-Regourd, Mark Stephen Bentley, Wlodek W. Kofman, Yann Brouet, Valérie Ciarletti, et al.. Structure and Formation of Comets: Updates from Post-Rosetta Solid Fraction Analyses . AGU Fall Meeting 2016, Dec 2016, San Francisco, United States. pp.P43D-02. ⟨insu-01401618⟩

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