Bidirectional reflectance and VIS-NIR spectroscopy of cometary analogues under simulated space conditions

Jost, Bernhard; Pommerol, Antoine; Poch, Olivier; Yoldi Martínez d. M., Zuriñe; Fornasier, Sonia; Hasselmann, Pedro Henrique; Feller, Clément; Carrasco, Nathalie; Szopa, Cyril; Thomas, Nicolas (2017). Bidirectional reflectance and VIS-NIR spectroscopy of cometary analogues under simulated space conditions. Planetary and space science, 145, pp. 14-27. Elsevier 10.1016/j.pss.2017.07.009

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This work is intended to be the second publication in a series of papers reporting on the spectro-photometric properties of cometary analogues measured in the laboratory. Herein, we provide in-situ hyperspectral imaging data in the 0.40–2.35 μm range from three sublimation experiments under simulated space conditions in thermal vacuum from samples made of water ice, carbonaceous compounds and complex organic molecules. The dataset is complemented by measurements of the bidirectional reflectance in the visible (750 nm) spectral range before and after sublimation. A qualitative characterization of surface evolution processes is provided as well as a description of morphological changes during the simulation experiment. The aim of these experiments is to mimic the spectrum of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) as acquired by the Rosetta mission by applying sublimation experiments on the mixtures of water ice with a complex organic material (tholins) and carbonaceous compounds (carbon black; activated charcoal) studied in our companion publication (Jost et al., submitted). Sublimation experiments are needed to develop the particular texture (high porosity), expected on the nucleus' surface, which might have a strong influence on spectro-photometric properties. The spectrally best matching mixtures of non volatile organic molecules from Jost et al. (submitted) are mixed with fine grained water ice particles and evolved in a thermal vacuum chamber, in order to monitor the influence of the sublimation process on their spectro-photometric properties. We demonstrate that the way the water ice and the non-volatile constituents are mixed, plays a major role in the formation and evolution of a surface residue mantle as well as having influence on the consolidation processes of the underlying ice. Additionally it results in different activity patterns under simulated insolation cycles. Further we show that the phase curves of samples having a porous surface mantle layer display higher coincidence with data of 67P than the phase curves of the samples having a more compact surface layer with smooth texture. The analysis of spectral absorption bands of water ice in the near-infrared (NIR) range, similar to those acquired by the VIRTIS instrument onboard Rosetta, allows to link compositional considerations with surface activity and texture.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > NCCR PlanetS

UniBE Contributor:

Jost, Bernhard; Pommerol, Antoine; Poch, Olivier; Yoldi Martínez d. M., Zuriñe and Thomas, Nicolas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

20 Nov 2017 15:12

Last Modified:

01 Nov 2019 02:30

Publisher DOI:





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