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Evolution of the Dust Size Distribution of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from 2.2 au to Perihelion

Fulle, M.; Marzari, F.; Della Corte, V.; Fornasier, S.; Sierks, H.; Rotundi, A.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Koschny, D.; Rickman, H.; Keller, H. U.; López-Moreno, J. J.; Accolla, M.; Agarwal, J.; A’Hearn, M. F.; Altobelli, N.; Barucci, M. A.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Bodewits, D.; Bussoletti, E.; Colangeli, L.; Cosi, M.; Cremonese, G.; Crifo, J.-F.; Da Deppo, V.; Davidsson, B.; Debei, S.; De Cecco, M.; Esposito, F.; Ferrari, M.; Giovane, F.; Gustafson, B.; Green, S. F.; Groussin, O.; Grün, E.; Gutierrez, P.; Güttler, C.; Herranz, M. L.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.; Ivanovski, S. L.; Jerónimo, J. M.; Jorda, L.; Knollenberg, J.; Kramm, R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lara, L.; Lazzarin, M.; Leese, M. R.; López-Jiménez, A. C.; Lucarelli, F.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; McDonnell, J. A. M.; Mennella, V.; Molina, A.; Morales, R.; Moreno, F.; Mottola, S.; Naletto, G.; Oklay, N.; Ortiz, J. L.; Palomba, E.; Palumbo, P.; Perrin, J.-M.; Rietmeijer, F. J. M.; Rodríguez, J.; Sordini, R.; Thomas, N.; Tubiana, C.; Vincent, J.-B.; Weissman, P.; Wenzel, K.-P.; Zakharov, V. and Zarnecki, J. C. (2016). Evolution of the Dust Size Distribution of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from 2.2 au to Perihelion. The Astrophysical Journal, 821(1), article no. 19.

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The Rosetta probe, orbiting Jupiter-family comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, has been detecting individual dust particles of mass larger than 10^(−10) kg by means of the GIADA dust collector and the OSIRIS Wide Angle Camera and Narrow Angle Camera since 2014 August and will continue until 2016 September. Detections of single dust particles allow us to estimate the anisotropic dust flux from 67P, infer the dust loss rate and size
distribution at the surface of the sunlit nucleus, and see whether the dust size distribution of 67P evolves in time.
The velocity of the Rosetta orbiter, relative to 67P, is much lower than the dust velocity measured by GIADA, thus
dust counts when GIADA is nadir-pointing will directly provide the dust flux. In OSIRIS observations, the dust
flux is derived from the measurement of the dust space density close to the spacecraft. Under the assumption of radial expansion of the dust, observations in the nadir direction provide the distance of the particles by measuring
their trail length, with a parallax baseline determined by the motion of the spacecraft. The dust size distribution at
sizes >1 mm observed by OSIRIS is consistent with a differential power index of −4, which was derived from
models of 67P’s trail. At sizes <1 mm, the size distribution observed by GIADA shows a strong time evolution,
with a differential power index drifting from −2 beyond 2 au to −3.7 at perihelion, in agreement with the evolution
derived from coma and tail models based on ground-based data. The refractory-to-water mass ratio of the nucleus
is close to six during the entire inbound orbit and at perihelion.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2016 The American Astronomical Society
ISSN: 1538-4357
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Astronomy and Planetary Sciences at the Open UniversityST/L000776/1STFC (Science & Technology Facilities Council)
Keywords: comets: general; comets: individual (67P&Churyumov–Gerasimenko) ; space vehicles: instruments
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Research Group: Centre for Electronic Imaging (CEI)
Item ID: 46060
Depositing User: Simon Green
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2016 15:53
Last Modified: 02 May 2019 12:46
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