The big lobe of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet: morphological and spectrophotometric evidences of layering as from OSIRIS data

Ferrari, Sabrina; Penasa, L; La Forgia, F; Massironi, M; Naletto, G; Lazzarin, M; Fornasier, S; Hasselmann, P H; Lucchetti, A; Pajola, M; Ferri, F; Cambianica, P; Oklay, N; Tubiana, C; Sierks, H; Lamy, P L; Rodrigo, R; Koschny, D; Davidsson, B; Barucci, M A; ... (2018). The big lobe of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet: morphological and spectrophotometric evidences of layering as from OSIRIS data. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 479(2), pp. 1555-1568. Blackwell Publishing Ltd 10.1093/mnras/sty1656

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Between 2014 and 2016, ESA’s Rosetta OSIRIS cameras acquired multiple-filters images
of the layered nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, ranging from ultraviolet to
near-infrared wavelengths. No correlation between layers disposition and surface spectral
variegation has been observed so far. This paper investigates possible spectral differences
among decametre-thickness outcropping layers of the biggest lobe of the comet by means
of OSIRIS image dataset. A two-classes maximum likelihood classification was applied on
consolidated outcrops and relative deposits identified on post-perihelion multispectral images
of the big lobe. We distinguished multispectral data on the basis of the structural elevation of
the onion-shell Ellipsoidal Model of 67P. The spatial distribution of the two classes displays a
clear dependence on the structural elevation, with the innermost class resulting over 50 per cent
brighter than the outermost one. Consolidated cometarymaterials located at different structural
levels are characterized by different brightness and revealed due to the selective removal of
large volumes. This variegation can be attributed to a different texture of the outcrop surface
and/or to a different content of refractory materials.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Thomas, Nicolas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Blackwell Publishing Ltd




Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2018 14:58

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:18

Publisher DOI:





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