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The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

De Sanctis, M.C. and Capaccioni, F. and Ciarniello, M. and Filacchione, G. and Formisano, M. and Mottola, S. and Raponi, A. and Tosi, F. and Bockelee-Morvan, D. and Erard, S. and Leyrat, C. and Schmitt, B. and Ammannito, E. and Arnold, G. and Barucci, M.A. and Combi, M. and Capria, M.T. and Cerroni, P. and Ip, W.-H. and Kuehrt, E. and McCord, T. B. and Palomba, E. and Beck, P. and Quirico, E. and VIRTIS, Team (2015) The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Nature, 525, pp. 500-503. Nature Publishing Group. doi: 10.1038/nature14869. ISSN 0028-0836.

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Abstract

Water is a major constituent of comets and is one of the major volatile species controlling cometary activity. Thus, it is crucial to understand water’s behavior on and in a comet. All close up observations of cometary nuclei have revealed no, or a very limited amount, of surface water ice, insufficient to explain the observed water outgassing. From this, it was concluded that water vapor was generated in ice-rich subsurface layers with a mechanism of transport linked to solar illumination. In addition, short lived outbursts were seen near sunrise on Tempel1. Periodical condensations of water vapor very close, or on the surface, were suggested to explain these outburst. Up to now, though, no clear observational evidence was brought forward to prove or disprove this proposed link. In this paper we report observations by VIRTIS -Rosetta of water ice on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gerasimenko, appearing and disappearing in a cyclic pattern, which follows local illumination conditions, thus providing a source of localized activity. The total amount of water vapor produced by this mechanism can be roughly estimated by considering the relative extent of water-rich areas in our observations; a value of 3% of the total water flux is derived, but this is only a lower limit. We can extrapolate that a much larger area is affected by the same mechanism, although not directly observed, thus contributing by a larger amount to the total water flux. This water cycle was never actually observed until Rosetta and it appears to be a fundamental process in the evolution of the comet, contributing to local cometary water activity.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/96983/
Document Type:Article
Title:The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
De Sanctis, M.C.Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Rome, Italy.UNSPECIFIED
Capaccioni, F.Istituto di Astrofisica Spaziale, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Ciarniello, M.INAF–IAPS, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Area di Ricerca di Tor Vergata, via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Filacchione, G.INAF-IAPS Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Formisano, M.Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali – INAF, via del fosso del cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Mottola, S.stefano.mottola (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Raponi, A.INAF-IAPS Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Tosi, F.INAF-IAPS Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Bockelee-Morvan, D.Observatoire de Paris, MeudonUNSPECIFIED
Erard, S.LESIA Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Leyrat, C.LESIA Observatoire de Paris, Meudon, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Schmitt, B.Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l'Environment, Grenoble, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Ammannito, E.Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Arnold, G.gabriele.arnold (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Barucci, M.A.LESIA-Observatoire de Paris, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Combi, M.Space Physics Research Laboratory, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USAUNSPECIFIED
Capria, M.T.INAF–IAPS, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Area di Ricerca di Tor Vergata, via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Cerroni, P.INAF–IAPS, Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Area di Ricerca di Tor Vergata, via del Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, 00133 Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Ip, W.-H.National Central University, Taipei, TaiwanUNSPECIFIED
Kuehrt, E.ekkehard.kuehrt (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
McCord, T. B.Bear Fight Institute, Winthrop, WA, USAUNSPECIFIED
Palomba, E.Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Rome, ItalyUNSPECIFIED
Beck, P.Austrian Research Centers, ARC, Radiation Safety and Applications Division, A-2444 Seibersdorf, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Quirico, E.Laboratory of Planetology, CNRS Joseph Fourier UniversityUNSPECIFIED
VIRTIS, TeamUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:2015
Journal or Publication Title:Nature
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Volume:525
DOI :10.1038/nature14869
Page Range:pp. 500-503
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:0028-0836
Status:Published
Keywords:67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, water ice, cycle of water ice, comet
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Project ROSETTA Instruments
Location: Berlin-Adlershof
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Planetary Research > Asteroids and Comets
Institute of Planetary Research > Leitungsbereich PF
Deposited By: Bründl, Tara-Marie
Deposited On:06 Jan 2016 16:22
Last Modified:08 Mar 2018 18:47

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