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A global kinetic model for cometary comae: The evolution of the coma of the Rosetta target comet churyumov-gerasimenko throughout the mission
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Astronomy and Space Physics.
2008 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, Vol. 685, no 1, 659-677 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Rosetta spacecraft is en route to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for a rendezvous, landing, and extensive orbital phase beginning in 2014. Model studies of the coma will be required not only for planning of the mission and interpretation of spacecraft data, but also for an expectedly large amount of complementary remote observational data that will be obtained in the meantime. A full-scale simulation of the coma under conditions occurring during the mission can be done only on the basis of a kinetic model. In this work we present a newly developed direct simulation Monte Carlo model of a multispecies coma, where components of the coma are coupled through momentum exchange and photochemical processes, and its application to the case of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is shown that kinetic effects determine the state of the coma, which limits applicability of a hydrodynamics approach. The study of the coma was performed in the region starting from the surface of the nucleus and extending up to 106 km, which allows incorporation of a realistic model of the gas production from the nucleus from a thermophysical model of a porous ice/dust mixture accounting for the thermal reradiation, the subsurface sublimation and recondensation, and the subsurface mass and energy transport. The results obtained present states of the coma for a series of stages throughout the Rosetta mission and can serve for the planning of the mission as well as for the interpretation of ground-based observations during the 2009 and 2016 apparitions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 685, no 1, 659-677 p.
Keyword [en]
comets : general, comets : individual (67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko), methods : numerical, methods : statistical
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-107910DOI: 10.1086/590376ISI: 000259314200054OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-107910DiVA: diva2:233524
Available from: 2009-09-01 Created: 2009-08-31 Last updated: 2009-09-01Bibliographically approved

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