Dust and gas emission from cometary nuclei: the case of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

  • Comets display with decreasing solar distance an increased emission of gas and dust particles, leading to the formation of the coma and tail. Spacecraft missions provide insight in the temporal and spatial variations of the dust and gas sources located on the cometary nucleus. For the case of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G), the long-term obser- vations from the Rosetta mission point to a homogeneous dust emission across the entire illuminated surface. Despite the homogeneous initial dis- tribution, a collimation in jet-like structures becomes visible. We propose that this observation is linked directly to the complex shape of the nucleus and projects concave topographical features into the dust coma. To test this hypothesis, we put forward a gas-dust description of 67P/C-G, where gravitational and gas forces are accurately determined from the surface mesh and the rotation of the nucleus is fully incorporated. The emerging jet-like structures persist for a wide range of gas-dust interactions and show a dust velocity dependent bending.
Author:Tobias Kramer, Matthias Noack, Daniel Baum, Hans-Christian Hege, Eric J. Heller
Document Type:Article
Parent Title (English):Advances in Physics: X
First Page:1404436
Date of first Publication:2018/01/08