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Space Science Reviews

, 215:30 | Cite as

Local Manifestations of Cometary Activity

  • Jean-Baptiste VincentEmail author
  • Tony Farnham
  • Ekkehard Kührt
  • Yuri Skorov
  • Raphael Marschall
  • Nilda Oklay
  • Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry
  • Horst Uwe Keller
Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Comets: Post 67P / Churyumov–Gerasimenko Perspectives

Abstract

Comets are made of volatile and refractory material and naturally experience various degrees of sublimation as they orbit around the Sun. This gas release, accompanied by dust, represents what is traditionally described as activity. Although the basic principles are well established, most details remain elusive, especially regarding the mechanisms by which dust is detached from the surface and subsequently accelerated by the gas flows surrounding the nucleus.

During its 2 years rendez-vous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA’s Rosetta has observed cometary activity with unprecedented details, in both the inbound and outbound legs of the comet’s orbit. This trove of data provides a solid ground on which new models of activity can be built. In this chapter, we review how activity manifests at close distance from the surface, establish a nomenclature for the different types of observed features, discuss how activity is at the same time transforming and being shaped by the topography, and finally address several potential mechanisms.

Keywords

Comets Activity Rosetta 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 686709 (MiARD). This work was supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) under contract number 16.0008-2. The opinions expressed and arguments employed herein do not necessarily reflect the official view of the Swiss Government. This research has made use of NASA’s Astrophysics Data System Bibliographic Services.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DLR Institute of Planetary ResearchBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Department of AstronomyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische PhysikTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  4. 4.Physikalisches InstitutUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  5. 5.Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK
  6. 6.Institut fur Geophysik und extraterrestrische PhysikTU BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany

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