(EPSC) in Potsdam on Tuesday 21st August, said, “These observations were taken when the comet was approaching the furthest point from the Sun in its orbit. Rosetta will rendezvous with the comet in 2014 at a distance of about 600 million kilometres from the Sun. While a quite detailed portrait of the comet at small heliocentric distance has been drawn, a profound description of Rosetta’s target comet at large heliocentric distance is missing.”A team of scientists, led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, observed the comet’s nucleus in June 2004, May and August 2006 and July 2007, when the comet was at least 680 million kilometres from the Sun.
many times it has travelled along this path.Later on Tuesday 21st at the EPSC, Dr Jérémie Lasue, of the Service d’aéronomie in France, will present results of numerical studies that describe how a comet’s nucleus changes as it travels along its orbital path.
Our team has developed a three-dimensional model of the internal processes in the nucleus, allowing us to predict the thermal evolution and surface activity as the comet moves along its orbit”
These particles are rich in silicates and organics, which are the building blocks of life. Our simulations, for the first time, take into account the relationship between the impact history of the comet and the forces holding the comet’s constituents together. This technique has enabled us to reproduce and interpret the amazing layered structure and surface features that Deep Impact observed at comet 9P/Tempel 1. This is a new means to quantify the tensile strength of comet nuclei, which gives us vital information in preparing for Rosetta’s rendezvous with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.”The teams of scientists from France and Italy in which Dr Lasue works, are developing these numerical tools to support two of Rosetta’s instruments:
VIRTIS, which will determine the composition of the ices in the comet’s nucleus as well as emitted gases and dust, and CONSERT, which will investigate the deep interior of the nucleus with radio waves.
Anita Heward | alfa
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