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Journal Articles Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Year : 2019

The refractory-to-ice mass ratio in comets

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1
Marco Fulle
  • Function : Author
J. Blum
  • Function : Author
S. F. Green
  • Function : Author
B. Gundlach
  • Function : Author
F. Moreno
  • Function : Author
S. Mottola
  • Function : Author
A. Rotundi
  • Function : Author
C. Snodgrass
  • Function : Author

Abstract

We review the complex relationship between the dust-to-gas mass ratio usually estimated in the material lost by comets, and the refractory-to-ice mass ratio inside the nucleus, which constrains the origin of comets. Such a relationship is dominated by the mass transfer from the perihelion erosion to fallout over most of the nucleus surface. This makes the refractory-to-ice mass ratio inside the nucleus up to 10 times larger than the dust-to-gas mass ratio in the lost material, because the lost material is missing most of the refractories which were inside the pristine nucleus before the erosion. We review the refractory-to-ice mass ratios available for the comet nuclei visited by space missions, and for the Kuiper Belt Objects with well-defined bulk density, finding the 1-σ lower limit of 3. Therefore, comets and KBOs may have less water than CI-chondrites, as predicted by models of comet formation by the gravitational collapse of cm-sized pebbles driven by streaming instabilities in the protoplanetary disc.
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insu-03704146 , version 1 (24-06-2022)

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Marco Fulle, J. Blum, S. F. Green, B. Gundlach, A. Herique, et al.. The refractory-to-ice mass ratio in comets. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2019, 482, pp.3326-3340. ⟨10.1093/mnras/sty2926⟩. ⟨insu-03704146⟩
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