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The southern hemisphere of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Analysis of the preperihelion size-frequency distribution of boulders >=7 m

Pajola, Maurizio and Luchetti, Alice and Vincent, J.B. and Oklay, N. and El-Maarry, M. R. and Bertini, I. and Naletto, G. and Lazzarin, M. and Massironi, Matteo and Sierks, H. and Barbieri, C. and Lamy, P. and Rodrigo, Rafael and Koschny, D. and Rickman, Hans and Keller, H. U. and Agarwal, J. and A'Hearn, M. F. and Barucci, M. A. and Bertaux, J.-L. and Boudreault, S. and Cremonese, G. and Da Deppo, V. and Davidsson, B. and Debei, S. and De Cecco, M. and Deller, J. and Fornasier, S. and Fulle, M. and Gicquel, A. and Groussin, Olivier and Gutierrez, P.J. and Güttler, C. and Hofman, Marc and Höfner, S. and Hviid, S. and Ip, W-H. and Jorda, L and Knollenberg, J. and Kramm, J. R. and Kührt, E. and Küppers, Michael and La Forgia, Fiorangela and Lara López, Luisa M. and Lee, Jui-Che and Lopez Moreno, J. and Marzari, F. and Michalik, H. and Mottola, S. and Preusker, Frank and Scholten, Frank and Thomas, Nicholas and Toth, Imre and Tubiana, C. (2016) The southern hemisphere of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Analysis of the preperihelion size-frequency distribution of boulders >=7 m. Astronomy & Astrophysics. EDP Sciences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201628887 ISSN 0004-6361

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Abstract

We calculate the size-frequency distribution of the boulders on the southern hemisphere of comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), which was in shadow before the end of April 2015. We compare the new results with those derived from the northern hemisphere and equatorial regions of 67P, highlighting the possible physical processes that lead to these boulder size distributions. Methods. We used images acquired by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) on 2 May 2015 at a distance of 125 km from the nucleus. The scale of this dataset is 2.3 m/px; the high resolution of the images, coupled with the favorable observation phase angle of 62°, provided the possibility to unambiguously identify boulders ≥7 m on the surface of 67P and to manually extract them with the software ArcGIS. We derived the size-frequency distribution of the illuminated southern hemisphere. Results. We found a power-law index of −3.6 ± 0.2 for the boulders on the southern hemisphere with a diameter range of 7−35 m. The power-law index is equal to the one previously found on northern and equatorial regions of 67P, suggesting that similar boulder formation processes occur in both hemispheres. The power-law index is related to gravitational events triggered by sublimation and/or thermal fracturing causing regressive erosion. In addition, the presence of a larger number of boulders per km2 in the southern hemisphere, which is a factor of 3 higher with respect to the northern hemisphere, suggests that the southernmost terrains of 67P are affected by a stronger thermal fracturing and sublimating activity, hence possibly causing larger regressive erosion and gravitational events.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/109886/
Document Type:Article
Title:The southern hemisphere of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko: Analysis of the preperihelion size-frequency distribution of boulders >=7 m
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Pajola, Mauriziocentro di ateneo di studi ed attivitá spaziali, “giuseppe colombo” (cisas), university of padova, via venezia 15, 35131 padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Luchetti, AliceINAF Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vic. Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Vincent, J.B.max-planck-institut fuer sonnensystemforschung, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Oklay, N.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschungUNSPECIFIED
El-Maarry, M. R.physikalisches institut, sidlerstrasse 5, university of bern, ch-3012 bern, switzerlandUNSPECIFIED
Bertini, I.dipartimento di astronomia, università di padova, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Naletto, G.università di padova, departimento di elettronica et informatica, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Lazzarin, M.department of astronomy, university of paduaUNSPECIFIED
Massironi, Matteoinaf, padova, iUNSPECIFIED
Sierks, H.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschung, katlenburg-lindau, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Barbieri, C.university of padova, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Lamy, P.laboratoire d'astronomie spatiale, marseille, franceUNSPECIFIED
Rodrigo, Rafaelinstituto de astrofisica de andaluciaUNSPECIFIED
Koschny, D.Scientific Support Office, European Space Research and Technology Centre/ESA, Keplerlaan 1, Postbus 299, 2201 AZ Noordwijk ZH, The NetherlandsUNSPECIFIED
Rickman, Hansuppsala astronomical observatoryUNSPECIFIED
Keller, H. U.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschung, katlenburg-lindauUNSPECIFIED
Agarwal, J.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschungUNSPECIFIED
A'Hearn, M. F.university of maryland, department of astronomy, maryland, usaUNSPECIFIED
Barucci, M. A.observatoire de paris, meudon, franceUNSPECIFIED
Bertaux, J.-L.laboratoire atmosphères, milieux, observations spatiales, cnrs/uvsq/upmc, 11 boulevard d’alembert, 78280 guyancourt, franceUNSPECIFIED
Boudreault, S.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschung, 37077 göttingen, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Cremonese, G.osservatorio astronomico, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Da Deppo, V.consiglio nazionale delle ricerche-istituto nazionale per la fisica della materia, luxor, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Davidsson, B.astronomiska observatoriet, uppsala, swedenUNSPECIFIED
Debei, S.università di padova, center of studies and activities of space (cisas) "g.colombo", padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
De Cecco, M.università di padova, center of studies and activities of space (cisas) "g.colombo", padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Deller, J.mpsUNSPECIFIED
Fornasier, S.observatoire de paris-meudon, franceUNSPECIFIED
Fulle, M.inaf - osservatorio astronomico di trieste, trieste, italyUNSPECIFIED
Gicquel, A.lesiaUNSPECIFIED
Groussin, Olivierlab. d'astrophysique de marseille, franceUNSPECIFIED
Gutierrez, P.J.iaa-csic, granada, spainUNSPECIFIED
Güttler, C.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschungUNSPECIFIED
Hofman, MarcMax-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Justus-von-Liebig-Weg, 3 37077 Göttingen, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Höfner, S.max-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschung, göttingen, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Hviid, S.stubbe.hviid (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ip, W-H.institute for space science, national central university, chung li, taiwanUNSPECIFIED
Jorda, Llam, marseilleUNSPECIFIED
Knollenberg, J.joerg.knollenberg (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kramm, J. R.max planck institute for solar systems research, katlenburg-lindau, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Kührt, E.ekkehard.kuehrt (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Küppers, Michaelmax-planck-institut für sonnensystemforschungUNSPECIFIED
La Forgia, Fiorangelauniversity of padova, department of physics and astronomy, vicolo dell'osservatorio 3, 35122 padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Lara López, Luisa M.iaa-csic granada, spainUNSPECIFIED
Lee, Jui-CheInstitute for Space Science, National Central University, 32054 Chung-Li, TaiwanUNSPECIFIED
Lopez Moreno, J.instituto de astrofifica de andalucia-consejo superior de investigaciones cientificas, granada, spainUNSPECIFIED
Marzari, F.università di padova, departimento di fisica, padova, italyUNSPECIFIED
Michalik, H.institut für datentechnik und kommunikationsnetze (ida), technische universität braunschweig, hans-sommer-str. 66, 38106 braunschweig, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Mottola, S.stefano.mottola (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Preusker, Frankfrank.preusker (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Scholten, Frankfrank.scholten (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Thomas, NicholasPhysikalisches Institut der Universität Bern, Sidlerstr. 5, 3012 Bern, SwitzerlandUNSPECIFIED
Toth, Imrekonkoly observatory of the hungarian academy of sciences, po box 67, 1525 budapest, hungaryUNSPECIFIED
Tubiana, C.max-planck-institut fuer sonnensystemforschung, germanyUNSPECIFIED
Date:2016
Journal or Publication Title:Astronomy & Astrophysics
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201628887
Publisher:EDP Sciences
ISSN:0004-6361
Status:Published
Keywords:comets: general / comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko / methods: data analysis
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt ROSETTA Instrumente, R - Projekt ROSETTA Lander
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geodesy
Deposited By: Schubert, Renate
Deposited On:21 Dec 2016 08:10
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:52

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