Pits formation from volatile outgassing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Mousis, O.; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Brugger, B.; Jorda, L.; Kargel, J. S.; Bouquet, A.; Auger, A. T.; Lamy, P.; Vernazza, P.; Thomas, Nicolas; Sierks, H. (2015). Pits formation from volatile outgassing on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 814(1), L5. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/2041-8205/814/1/l5

[img]
Preview
Text
1510.07671v1.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (2MB) | Preview
[img] Text
pdf.pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (469kB) | Request a copy

We investigate the thermal evolution of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's subsurface in the Seth_01 region, where active pits have been observed by the ESA/Rosetta mission. Our simulations show that clathrate destabilization and amorphous ice crystallization can occur at depths corresponding to those of the observed pits in a timescale shorter than 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's lifetime in the comet's activity zone in the inner solar system. Sublimation of crystalline ice down to such depths is possible only in the absence of a dust mantle, which requires the presence of dust grains in the matrix small enough to be dragged out by gas from the pores. Our results are consistent with both pits formation via sinkholes or subsequent to outbursts, the dominant process depending on the status of the subsurface porosity. A sealed dust mantle would favor episodic and disruptive outgassing as a result of increasing gas pressure in the pores, while high porosity should allow the formation of large voids in the subsurface due to the continuous escape of volatiles. We finally conclude that the subsurface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is not uniform at a spatial scale of similar to 100-200 m.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Thomas, Nicolas

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

2041-8205

Publisher:

Institute of Physics Publishing IOP

Language:

English

Submitter:

Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

13 Jun 2016 17:20

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 02:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1088/2041-8205/814/1/l5

Web of Science ID:

000365035400005

ArXiv ID:

1510.07671

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81688

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81688

Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback