Narrow dust jets in a diffuse gas coma: a natural product of small active regions on comets

Combi, M. R.; Tenishev, V. M.; Rubin, Martin; Fougere, N.; Gombosi, T. I. (2012). Narrow dust jets in a diffuse gas coma: a natural product of small active regions on comets. Astrophysical journal, 749(1), p. 29. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/0004-637X/749/1/29

[img] Text
Astrophysical Journal74929.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (3MB) | Request a copy

Comets often display narrow dust jets but more diffuse gas comae when their eccentric orbits bring them into the inner solar system and sunlight sublimates the ice on the nucleus. Comets are also understood to have one or more active areas covering only a fraction of the total surface active with sublimating volatile ices. Calculations of the gas and dust distribution from a small active area on a comet’s nucleus show that as the gas moves out radially into the vacuum of space it expands tangentially, filling much of the hemisphere centered on the active region. The dust dragged by the gas remains more concentrated over the active area. This explains some puzzling appearances of comets having collimated dust jets but more diffuse gaseous atmospheres. Our test case is 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the Rosetta mission target comet, whose activity is dominated by a single area covering only 4% of its surface.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Rubin, Martin

Subjects:

500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering

ISSN:

0004-637X

Publisher:

Institute of Physics Publishing IOP

Language:

English

Submitter:

Martin Rubin

Date Deposited:

19 May 2016 08:40

Last Modified:

19 May 2016 08:40

Publisher DOI:

10.1088/0004-637X/749/1/29

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.74099

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/74099

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback