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Thermal modelling of water activity on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with global dust mantle and plural dust-to-ice ratio

Xuanyu Hu 1, 2 Xian Shi 1 Holger Sierks 1 Jürgen Blum 2 Jürgen Oberst 3, 4, 5 Marco Fulle 6 Ekkehard Kührt 7 Carsten Güttler 1 Bastian Gundlach 2 Horst Uwe Keller 2, 7 Stefano Mottola 7 Maurizio Pajola 8 Cesare Barbieri 9 Philippe L. Lamy 10 Rafael Rodrigo 11, 12 Detlef Koschny 13 Hans Rickman 14, 15 Jessica Agarwal 1 Michael F. A'Hearn 16 Maria Antonella Barucci 17 Jean-Loup Bertaux 18 Ivano Bertini 9 Steve Boudreault 1 Irene Büttner 1 Gabriele Cremonese 19 Vania da Deppo 20 Björn Davidsson 21 Stefano Debei 22 Mariolino de Cecco 23 Jakob Deller 1 Sonia Fornasier 17 Olivier Groussin 10 Pedro J. Gutiérrez 24 Pablo Gutiérrez-Marqués 1 Ian Hall 1 Marc Hofmann 1 Stubbe F. Hviid 25 Wing-Huen Ip 26 Laurent Jorda 10 Jörg Knollenberg 7 Gabor Kovacs 1 J.-Rainer Kramm 1 Michael Küppers 27 Luisa M. Lara 24 Monica Lazzarin 9 José J. López-Moreno 24 Francesco Marzari 9 Giampiero Naletto 28, 20, 29 Nilda Oklay 7 Michael L. Richards 1 Joachim Ripken 1 Nicolas Thomas 30, 31 Cécilia Tubiana 1 Jean-Baptiste Vincent 7 
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : We perform a thermo-physical analysis on water activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P). The sublimation of water is assumed to occur from beneath a global, desiccated dust mantle over the irregular-shaped nucleus. The concept of two thermal models, the recipe of model formulation and the strategy of application to comet 67P are described. For an accurate and efficient evaluation of energy input by insolation and self-heating over the nucleus, a Landscape data base is devised based on polyhedral shape models of the nucleus. We apply the thermal models to investigate the impact of certain parameters of nucleus properties on water production. It is found that the measured water production of 67P can be overall attributed to sublimation of water ice with a mass abundance of a few to 10 per cent beneath a uniform dust mantle of several millimetres to one centimetre in thickness. Insofar as 67P is concerned, we argue against the necessity to invoke assumptions on localized water activity, or on the distinction of active/dormant surface areas.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 4:40:21 PM
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Xuanyu Hu, Xian Shi, Holger Sierks, Jürgen Blum, Jürgen Oberst, et al.. Thermal modelling of water activity on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with global dust mantle and plural dust-to-ice ratio. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2017, 469 (Suppl_2), pp.S295 - S311. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stx1607⟩. ⟨insu-01574567⟩



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