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Surface changes on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko suggest a more active past
Univ Bern, Inst Phys, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland.;Univ Colorado, Lab Atmospher & Space Phys, Boulder, CO 80301 USA..
Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, UMR 7326, Lab Astrophys Marseille, F-13388 Marseille, France..
Univ Bern, Inst Phys, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland..
NASA, Ames Res Ctr, Moffett Field, CA 94035 USA..
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2017 (English)In: Science, ISSN 0036-8075, E-ISSN 1095-9203, Vol. 355, no 6332, 1392-+ p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Rosetta spacecraft spent similar to 2 years orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, most of it at distances that allowed surface characterization and monitoring at submeter scales. From December 2014 to June 2016, numerous localized changes were observed, which we attribute to cometary-specific weathering, erosion, and transient events driven by exposure to sunlight and other processes. While the localized changes suggest compositional or physical heterogeneity, their scale has not resulted in substantial alterations to the comet's landscape. This suggests that most of the major landforms were created early in the comet's current orbital configuration. They may even date from earlier if the comet had a larger volatile inventory, particularly of CO or CO2 ices, or contained amorphous ice, which could have triggered activity at greater distances from the Sun.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER ASSOC ADVANCEMENT SCIENCE , 2017. Vol. 355, no 6332, 1392-+ p.
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320031DOI: 10.1126/science.aak9384ISI: 000397809500035PubMedID: 28325842OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320031DiVA: diva2:1088587
Funder
Swedish National Space Board, 74/10:2
Available from: 2017-04-13 Created: 2017-04-13 Last updated: 2017-04-13Bibliographically approved

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