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Structure and density of cometary nuclei

Weissman, P.R., Lowry, S.C. (2008) Structure and density of cometary nuclei. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 43 (6). pp. 1033-1047. ISSN 1086-9379. E-ISSN 1945-5100. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
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Abstract

Understanding the nature of the cometary nucleus remains one of the major problems in solar system science. Whipple's (1950) icy conglomerate model has been very successful at explaining a range of cometary phenomena, including the source of cometary activity and the nongravitational orbital motion of the nuclei. However, the internal structure of the nuclei is still largely unknown. We review herein the evidence for cometary nuclei as fluffy aggregates or primordial rubble piles, as first proposed by Donn et al. (1985) and Weissman (1986). These models assume that cometary nuclei are weakly bonded aggregations of smaller, icy-conglomerate planetesimals, possibly held together only by self-gravity. Evidence for this model comes from studies of the accretion and subsequent evolution of material in the solar nebula, from observations of disrupted comets, and in particular comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, from measurements of the ensemble rotational properties of observed cometary nuclei, and from recent spacecraft missions to comets. Although the evidence for rubble pile nuclei is growing, the eventual answer to this question will likely not come until we can place a spacecraft in orbit around a cometary nucleus and study it in detail over many months to years. ESA's Rosetta mission, now en route to comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, will provide that opportunity. © The Meteoritical Society, 2008.

Item Type: Article
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - Meteorit. Planet. Sci. [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Science Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, CA 91109, United States [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Department of Physics and Astronomy, Queen's University, Belfast BT7 1NN, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Faculties > Sciences > School of Physical Sciences > Centre for Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences
Depositing User: Stephen Lowry
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2015 23:03 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52299 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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