Decimetre-scaled spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from OSIRIS observations

Feller, C.; Fornasier, S.; Hasselmann, P. H.; Barucci, A.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Jorda, L.; Pommerol, Antoine; Jost, Bernhard; Poch, Olivier; ElMaary, M. R.; Thomas, Nicolas; Belskaya, I.; Pajola, M.; Sierks, H.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Koschny, D.; Rickman, H.; Rodrigo, R.; ... (2016). Decimetre-scaled spectrophotometric properties of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from OSIRIS observations. Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 462(Suppl 1), S287-S303. Oxford University Press 10.1093/mnras/stw2511

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We present the results of the photometric and spectrophotometric properties of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus derived with the OSIRIS instrument during the closest fly-by over the comet, which took place on 14 th February 2015 at a distance of ~ 6 km from the surface. Several images covering the 033° phase angle range were acquired, and the spatial resolution achieved was 11 cm/pxl. The flown-by region is located on the big lobe of the comet, near the borders of the Ash, Apis and Imhotep regions. Our analysis shows that this region features local heterogeneities at the decimetre scale. We observed difference of reflectance up to 40% between bright spots and sombre regions, and spectral slope variations up to 50%. The spectral reddening effect observed globally on the comet surface by Fornasier et al. (2015) is also observed locally on this region, but with a less steep behaviour. We note that numerous metre-sized boulders, which exhibit a smaller opposition effect, also appear spectrally redder than their surroundings. In this region, we found no evidence linking observed bright spots to exposed water-ice-rich material. We fitted our dataset using the Hapke 2008 photometric model. The region overflown is globally as dark as the whole nucleus (geometric albedo of 6.8%) and it has a high porosity value in the uppermost-layers (86%). These results of the photometric analysis at a decimetre scale indicate that the photometric properties of the flown-by region are similar to those previously found for the whole nucleus.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

Pommerol, Antoine; Jost, Bernhard; Poch, Olivier and Thomas, Nicolas


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Oxford University Press




Katharina Weyeneth-Moser

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2017 09:17

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 09:17

Publisher DOI:





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