Science2015-01-23 3:10 PM

The morphological diversity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Nicolas Thomas1,*, Holger Sierks2, Cesare Barbieri3, Philippe L. Lamy4, Rafael Rodrigo5, Hans Rickman6, Detlef Koschny7, Horst Uwe Keller8,22, Jessica Agarwal2, Michael F. A'Hearn9, Francesco Angrilli10, Anne-Therese Auger11, M. Antonella Barucci12, Jean-Loup Bertaux13, Ivano Bertini14, Sebastien Besse7, Dennis Bodewits9, Gabriele Cremonese15, Vania Da Deppo16, Björn Davidsson17, Mariolino De Cecco18, Stefano Debei10, Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry1, Francesca Ferri14, Sonia Fornasier12, Marco Fulle19, Lorenza Giacomini20, Olivier Groussin11, Pedro J. Gutierrez21, Carsten Güttler2, Stubbe F. Hviid22,2, Wing-Huen Ip23, Laurent Jorda24, Jörg Knollenberg22, J.-Rainer Kramm2, Ekkehard Kührt22, Michael Küppers25, Fiorangela La Forgia3, Luisa M. Lara21, Monica Lazzarin3, Josè J. Lopez Moreno21, Sara Magrin3, Simone Marchi26, Francesco Marzari3, Matteo Massironi20,14, Harald Michalik27, Richard Moissl25, Stefano Mottola22, Giampiero Naletto28,16,14, Nilda Oklay2, Maurizio Pajola14, Antoine Pommerol1, Frank Preusker22, Lola Sabau29, Frank Scholten22, Colin Snodgrass30,2, Cecilia Tubiana2, Jean-Baptiste Vincent2, Klaus-Peter Wenzel7


Abstract

Images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko acquired by the OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System) imaging system onboard the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft at scales of better than 0.8 meter per pixel show a wide variety of different structures and textures. The data show the importance of airfall, surface dust transport, mass wasting, and insolation weathering for cometary surface evolution, and they offer some support for subsurface fluidization models and mass loss through the ejection of large chunks of material.


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