67P/C-G Inner Coma dust properties from 2.2 au inbound to 2.0 au outbound to the Sun

Della Corte, V.; Rotundi, A.; Fulle, M.; Ivanovski, S.; Green, S. F.; Rietmeijer, F. J. M.; Colangeli, L.; Palumbo, P.; Sordini, R.; Ferrari, M.; Accolla, M.; Zakharov, V.; Mazzotta Epifani, E.; Weissman, P.; Gruen, E.; Lopez-Moreno, J. J.; Rodriguez, J.; Bussoletti, E.; Crifo, J. F.; Esposito, F.; Lamy, P. L.; McDonnell, J. A. M.; Mennella, V.; Molina, A.; Morales, R.; Moreno, F.; Palomba, E.; Perrin, J. M.; Rodrigo, R.; Zarnecki, J. C.; Cosi, M.; Giovane, F.; Gustafson, B.; Ortiz, J. L.; Jeronimo, J. M.; Leese, M. R.; Herranz, M.; Liuzzi, V. and Lopez-Jimenez, A. C. (2016). 67P/C-G Inner Coma dust properties from 2.2 au inbound to 2.0 au outbound to the Sun. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 462(Suppl_1) S210-S219.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw2529


GIADA (Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator) on-board the Rosetta space probe is designed to measure the momentum, mass and speed of individual dust particles escaping the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (hereafter 67P). From August 2014 to June 2016 Rosetta escorted comet 67P during its journey around the Sun. Here we focus on GIADA data taken between 2015 January and 2016 February which included 67P's perihelion passage. To better understand cometary activity and more specifically the presence of dust structures in cometary comae, we mapped the spatial distribution of dust density in 67P's coma. In this manner we could track the evolution of high density regions of coma dust and their connections with nucleus illumination conditions, namely tracking 67P's seasons. We also studied the link between dust particle speeds and their masses with respect to heliocentric distance, i.e. the level of cometary activity. This allowed us to derive a global and a local correlation of the dust particles’ speed distribution with respect to the H2O production rate.

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