Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Origins of Cometary Materials

Abstract

In this introductory presentation, material is categorized according to our state of knowledge: What do we know, what do we think we know but don’t know certainly, and what do we not know but often describe it as if it were a well-established fact about comets, their nuclei, their composition, and processes within comets and their nuclei. The material is presented not with the intend to criticize laboratory work simulating condition in comet nuclei, or observers analyzing their observations, nor modelers using data from both these sources to improve our understanding and make predictions. The intent is to provoke discussion and dialog between these groups to avoid overstating the results.

What is a Comet? A comet is a diffuse appearing celestial phenomenon moving in an orbit about the Sun. The central body, the nucleus, is composed of ice and dust. It is the source of all cometary activity, including comae and tails. We distinguish between molecular (including atoms and ions) and dust comae. At heliocentric distances of about 1 AU and less, the hydrogen coma typically has dimensions larger than the Sun. The tails are composed of dust, neutral atoms and molecules, and plasma.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. M.F. A’Hearn, R.L. Millis, D.G. Schleicher, D.J. Osip, P.V. Birch, Icarus 118, 223–270 (1995)

  2. A. Bar-Nun, D. Laufer, Icarus 161, 157–163 (2003)

  3. A. Bar-Nun, I. Kleinfeld, E. Kochavi, Phys. Rev. B 38, 7749–7754 (1988)

  4. A. Bar-Nun, I. Pat-El, D. Laufer, Icarus 187, 321–325 (2006)

  5. M.J.S. Belton, in International Seminar on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies, 33rd Session (World Scientific, Singapore 2007, in press)

  6. M.J.S. Belton, P. Thomas, J. Veverka, P. Schultz, M.F. A’Hearn, L. Feaga, T. Farnham, O. Groussin, J.-Y. Li, C. Lisse, L. McFadden, J. Sunshine, K.J. Meech, W.A. Delamere, J. Kissel, Icarus 187, 332–344 (2007)

  7. D. Blake, L. Allamandola, S. Sandford, D. Hudgin, F. Freund, Science 254, 548–551 (1991)

  8. M.E. Brown, A.H. Bouchez, H. Spinrad, C.M. Johns-Krull, Astron. J. 112, 1197–1202 (1996)

  9. J. Clairemidi, G. Moreels, V.A. Krasnopolsky, Icarus 86, 115–128 (1990)

  10. A.L. Cochran, W.D. Cochran, Icarus 157, 297–308 (2002)

  11. C.B. Cosmovici, G. Schwarz, W.-H. Ip, Nature 332, 705–709 (1988)

  12. W. Curdt, K. Wilhelm, A. Craubner, E. Krahn, H.U. Keller, Astron. Astrophys. 191, L1–L3 (1988)

  13. B.J.R. Davidsson, Y.V. Skorov, Icarus 168, 163–185 (2004)

  14. J.K. Davies, T.L. Roush, D.P. Cruikshank, M.J. Bartolomew, T.R. Geballe, T. Owen, C. De Bergh, Icarus 127, 238–245 (1997)

  15. A.H. Delsemme, P. Swings, Annal. Astrophys. 15, 1–6 (1952)

  16. B. Donn, The accumulation and structure of comets, in Comets in the Post-Halley Era, ed. by R.I. Newburn Jr., M. Neugebauer, J. Rahe (Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, 1991), pp. 335–360

  17. P. Ehrenfreund, S.B. Charnley, Ann. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 38, 427–483 (2000)

  18. N. Fray, Y. Bénilan, H. Cottin, M.-C. Gazeau, J. Crovisier, Planet. Space Sci. 53, 1243–1262 (2005)

  19. J.M. Greenberg, A. Li, T. Yamamoto, T. Kozasa, in Physics, Chemistry and Dynamics of Interplanetary Dust, ed. by B.A.S. Gustafson, M.S. Hanner. ASP Conf. Ser., vol. 104 (1996), pp. 497–506

  20. E. Grün, J. Gebhard, A. Bar-Nun, J. Benkhoff, H. Düren, G. Eich, R. Hische, W.F. Huebner, H.U. Keller, G. Klees, H. Kochan, G. Kölzer, H. Kroker, E. Kührt, P. Lämmerzahl, E. Lorenz, W.J. Markiewicz, D. Möhlmann, A. Oehler, J. Scholz, K.J. Seidensticker, K. Rössler, G. Schwehm, G. Steiner, K. Thiel, H. Thomas, J. Geophys. Res. 98, 15091–15104 (1993)

  21. W.F. Huebner, K. Altwegg, in The Solar System and Beyond: Ten Years of ISSI, ed. by J. Geiss, B. Hultqvist. ISSI Scientific Report, SR-003 (2005), pp. 197–210

  22. W.F. Huebner, J. Benkhoff, Earth Moon Planets 77, 217–222 (1999)

  23. W.F. Huebner, W.J. Markiewicz, Icarus 148, 594–596 (2000)

  24. W.F. Huebner, J. Benkhoff, M.T. Capria, A. Coradini, C. De Sanctis, R. Orosei, D. Prialnik, Heat and Gas Diffusion in Comet Nuclei. ISSI Scientific Report SR-004 (ESA Publication, Noordwijk, 2006)

  25. P. Jenniskens, D.F. Blake, Science 265, 753–756 (1994)

  26. H. Kawakita, J. Watanabe, T. Ootsubo, R. Nakamura, T. Fuse, N. Takato, S. Sasaki, T. Sasaki, Astrophys. J. 601, L191–L194 (2004)

  27. J.J. Klavetter, M.F. A’Hearn, Icarus 95, 73–85 (1992)

  28. A. Kouchi, T. Yamamoto, T. Kozasa, T. Kuroda, J.M. Greenberg, Astron. Astrophys. 290, 1009–1018 (1994)

  29. D. Laufer, I. Pat-El, A. Bar-Nun, Icarus 178, 248–252 (2005)

  30. M.J. Mumma, D. Reuter, BAAS 22, 1088 (1990)

  31. M.J. Mumma, N. Dello Russo, M.A. DiSanti, K. Magee-Sauer, R.E. Novak, S. Brittain, T. Rettig, I.S. McLean, D.C. Reuter, L.-H. Xu, Science 292, 1334–1339 (2001)

  32. M.J. Mumma, M.A. Disanti, N. dello Russo, K. Magee-Sauer, R. Gibb, R. Novak, in Proceedings of Asteroids, Comets, Meteors—ACM, ed. by B. Warmbein. ESA SP-500, Noordwijk, Netherlands (2002), pp. 753–762

  33. R. Reinhard, in Exploration of Halley’s Comet, ed. by M. Grewing, F. Praderie, R. Reinhard (Springer, Berlin, 1988), p. 949

  34. H. Rickman, J.A. Fernández, B.A.S. Gustafson, Astron. Astrophys. 237, 524–535 (1990)

  35. R.Z. Sagdeev, in Exploration of Halley’s Comet, ed. by M. Grewing, F. Praderie, R. Reinhard (Springer, Berlin, 1988), p. 959

  36. R. Schulz, M.F. A’Hearn, Icarus 115, 191–198 (1995)

  37. S.-I. Sirono, J.M. Greenberg, Icarus 145, 230–238 (2000)

  38. Y.V. Skorov, H. Rickman, Planet Space Sci. 46, 975–996 (1998)

  39. R. Smoluchowski, in Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, Interrelations, Evolution, and Origins, ed. by A.H. Delsemme. IAU Coll., vol. 39 (1976), pp. 47–49

  40. R. Smoluchowski, Astrophys. J. 244, L31–L34 (1981)

  41. R. Smoluchowski, Mon. Not. Roy. Astron. Soc. 235, 343–348 (1988)

  42. S.A. Stern, Icarus 73, 499–507 (1988), 76, 385

  43. G. Wurm, G. Paraskov, O. Krauss, Icarus 178, 253–263 (2005)

  44. S. Wyckoff, R.S. Heyd, R. Fox, Astrophys. J. 512, L73–L76 (1999)

  45. H.W. Zhang, G. Zhao, J.Y. Hu, Astron. Astrophys. 367, 1049–1055 (2001)

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to W. F. Huebner.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Huebner, W.F. Origins of Cometary Materials. Space Sci Rev 138, 5–25 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-007-9299-7

Download citation

Keywords

  • Comet nuclei
  • Atomic and molecular constituent
  • State of matter
  • Physico-chemical processes