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  Meter-scale thermal contraction crack polygons on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Auger, A.-T., Groussin, O., Jorda, L., R.El-Maarry, M., Bouley, S., Séjourné, A., et al. (2018). Meter-scale thermal contraction crack polygons on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Icarus, 301, 173-188. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.037.

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Auger, A.-T., Author
Groussin, O., Author
Jorda, L., Author
R.El-Maarry, M., Author
Bouley, S., Author
Séjourné, A., Author
Gaskell, R., Author
Capanna, C., Author
Davidsson, B., Author
Marchi, S., Author
Höfner, Sebastian1, Author           
Lamy, P.L., Author
Sierks, Holger1, Author           
Barbieri, C., Author
Rodrigo, R., Author
Koschny, D., Author
Rickman, H., Author
Keller, H.U., Author
Agarwal, Jessica1, Author           
A’Hearn, M.F., Author
Barucci, M.A., AuthorBertaux, J.-L., AuthorBertini, I., AuthorCremonese, G., AuthorDeppo, V. Da, AuthorDebei, S., AuthorCecco, M. De, AuthorFornasier, S., AuthorFulle, M., AuthorGutiérrez, P.J., AuthorGüttler, Carsten1, Author           Hviid, S., AuthorIp, W.-H., AuthorKnollenberg, J., AuthorKramm, J.-R., AuthorKührt, E., AuthorKüppers, M., AuthorLara, L.M., AuthorLazzarin, M., AuthorMoreno, J.J. Lopez, AuthorMarzari, F., AuthorMassironi, M., AuthorMichalik, H., AuthorNaletto, G., AuthorOklay, N., AuthorPommerol, A., AuthorSabau, L., AuthorThomas, N., AuthorTubiana, Cecilia1, Author           Vincent, J.-B., AuthorWenzel, K.-P., Author more..
1Department Planets and Comets, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society, ou_1832288              


Free keywords: -
 Abstract: We report on the detection and characterization of more than 6300 polygons on the surface of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using images acquired by the OSIRIS camera onboard Rosetta between August 2014 and March 2015. They are found in consolidated terrains and grouped in localized networks. They are present at all latitudes (from North to South) and longitudes (head, neck, and body), sometimes on pit walls or following lineaments. About 1.5% of the observed surface is covered by polygons. Polygons have an homogeneous size across the nucleus, with 90% of them in the size range 1 – 5 m and a mean size of 3.0 ± 1.4 m. They show different morphologies, depending on the width and depth of their trough. They are found in networks with 3- or 4-crack intersection nodes. The polygons observed on 67P are consistent with thermal contraction crack polygons formed by the diurnal or seasonal temperature variations in a hard (MPa) and consolidated sintered layer of water ice, located a few centimeters below the surface. Our thermal analysis shows an evolution of thermal contraction crack polygons according to the local thermal environment, with more evolved polygons (i.e. deeper and larger troughs) where the temperature and the diurnal and seasonal temperature range are the highest. Thermal contraction crack polygons are young surface morphologies that probably formed after the injection of 67P in the inner solar system, typically 100,000 years ago, and could be as young as a few orbital periods, following the decreasing of its perihelion distance in 1959 from 2.7 to 1.3 a.u. Meter scale thermal contraction crack polygons should be common features on the nucleus of Jupiter family comets.


Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-05-082018
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1016/j.icarus.2017.09.037
 Degree: -



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Title: Icarus
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Amsterdam : Academic Press
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 301 Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 173 - 188 Identifier: ISSN: 0019-1035
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954922645023