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Determination of the ice composition near the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

  • During the apparition of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) solar irradiation causes varying rates for sublimation of volatile species from the cometary nucleus. Because sublimation processes take place close to the cometary surface, the relative abundance of volatiles in the coma and the ice composition are related to each other. To quantify this relation we assume a model for the expansion of a collisionless gas from the surface into the surrounding space. We use an inverse model approach to relate the in situ measurements of gas densities from the two Rosetta instruments COPS (COmet Pressure Sensor) and DFMS (Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer) at the positions of the spacecraft to the locations of surface gas emissions during the Rosetta mission 2014-2016. We assume the temporally integrated gas emissions to be representative for the ice composition close to the surface. Our analysis shows characteristic differences in the ice compositions between both hemispheres of 67P/C-G. In particular CO2 ice has a reduced abundance on the northern hemisphere. In contrast to the hemispherical differences, the two lobes do not show significant differences in terms of their ice composition.
Author:Matthias LäuterORCiD, Tobias KramerORCiD, Martin RubinORCiD, Kathrin AltweggORCiD
Document Type:In Proceedings
Parent Title (English):Europlanet Science Congress
First Page:EPSC2022-826
Year of first publication:2022
Published in:Europlanet Science Congress 2022
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