On the nucleus structure and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe L.; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Angrilli, Francesco; Auger, Anne-Therese; Barucci, M. Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Bjoern; ... (2015). On the nucleus structure and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Science, 347(6220), aaa1044-aaa1044. American Association for the Advancement of Science 10.1126/science.aaa1044

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Images from the OSIRIS scientific imaging system onboard Rosetta show that the nucleus of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko consists of two lobes connected by a short neck. The nucleus has a bulk density less than half that of water. Activity at a distance from the Sun of >3 astronomical units is predominantly from the neck, where jets have been seen consistently. The nucleus rotates about the principal axis of momentum. The surface morphology suggests that the removal of larger volumes of material, possibly via explosive release of subsurface pressure or via creation of overhangs by sublimation, may be a major mass loss process. The shape raises the question of whether the two lobes represent a contact binary formed 4.5 billion years ago, or a single body where a gap has evolved via mass loss.

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:

0036-8075

Publisher:

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

09 May 2016 09:32

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2016 02:16

Publisher DOI:

10.1126/science.aaa1044

Web of Science ID:

000348225800027

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.81714

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/81714

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