Étude de la composition et des propriétés physiques de surface de la comète 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko : interprétation des données VIRTIS/Rosetta etmesure en réflectance d’analogues cométaires

Abstract : During the Solar System formation, 4.6 billion years ago, comets accreted materials which have been transformed according to the physical and dynamical conditions of the accretion disk but also a part of components coming from the interstellar medium. By preserving a primordial composition, the study of comets allows us to better understand the conditions of the proto-planetary disk surrounding the young Sun of an epoch which is now inaccessible. Moreover, it consists also to understand the various comets populations, their formation process, dynamical and activity evolution as they inward and outward the Sun or their structure.The ESA/Rosetta mission followed the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during two years. A ten of instruments has been dedicated to the study of the evolution of its activity, gas release, surface morphology, dust and other objectives. VIRTIS is a visible/infrared spectrometer instrument. It is composed of VIRTIS-M, an imaging spectrometer which gives access to spatial information with moderate spectral resolution and VIRTIS-H, a point spectrometer with a higher spectral resolution. This study is based on the data analysis of VIRTIS instruments and is divided into two parts focused on the study of the nucleus surface.The first part is an analysis of the spectral and photometric parameters: albedo, spectral slope, the main direction of the light diffusion by particles, macroscopic roughness. In a global study, I highlighted the spatial variations of albedo and spectral slope; compared results derived from different models as well as from both instruments. Then, I determined these parameters locally, revealing differences between two types of terrains. This approach allows to better understand the mechanisms linked to the activity (dust drop-off/uprising, space weathering, ice content variation) and also to the surface properties (composition, texture).The second goal of the thesis is to reproduce in the laboratory the observations realized by VIRTIS to give constraints on the composition and texture of the surface. In collaboration with IPAG (Grenoble, France) I led experiments consisting of the production of very fine powders made of materials which look like those we suspect to be present on the nucleus of 67P: organic matter (mimicked by a coal), silicates (olivine) and iron sulfides (pyrite and pyrrhotite) are all observed on comets or their analogues. I ground them to micrometric to nanometric scales and I realized reflectance measurements in the same spectral range than VIRTIS. Then, I have been able to observe effects caused by the variations of the grain size, composition or texture of the mixture and to highlight combinations reproducing the mean comet VIRTIS spectrum. Finally, this work enables us understanding the influence of material poorly studied such as iron sulfides as well as the spectral behaviour of powders composed of grain sizes reaching an order of magnitude close to the wavelengths, which is essential in the study of cometary surfaces.
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Batiste Rousseau. Étude de la composition et des propriétés physiques de surface de la comète 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko : interprétation des données VIRTIS/Rosetta etmesure en réflectance d’analogues cométaires. Astrophysique [astro-ph]. PSL Research University, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEO018⟩. ⟨tel-01891951⟩

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