Formation of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through gravitational collapse of a clump of pebbles

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Jürgen Blum, Bastian Gundlach, Maya Krause, Marco Fulle, Anders Johansen, Jessica Agarwal, Ingo von Borstel, Xian Shi, Xuanyu Hu, Mark S. Bentley, Fabrizio Capaccioni, Luigi Colangeli, Vincenzo Della Corte, Nicolas Fougere, Simon F. Green, Stavro Ivanovski, Thurid Mannel, Sihane Merouane, Alessandra Migliorini, Alessandra Rotundi, Roland Schmied, Colin Snodgrass
(Submitted on 21 Oct 2017)

The processes that led to the formation of the planetary bodies in the Solar System are still not fully understood. Using the results obtained with the comprehensive suite of instruments on-board ESA's Rosetta mission, we present evidence that comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko likely formed through the gentle gravitational collapse of a bound clump of mm-sized dust aggregates ("pebbles"), intermixed with microscopic ice particles. This formation scenario leads to a cometary make-up that is simultaneously compatible with the global porosity, homogeneity, tensile strength, thermal inertia, vertical temperature profiles, sizes and porosities of emitted dust, and the steep increase in water-vapour production rate with decreasing heliocentric distance, measured by the instruments on-board the Rosetta spacecraft and the Philae lander. Our findings suggest that the pebbles observed to be abundant in protoplanetary discs around young stars provide the building material for comets and other minor bodies.

Evidence for the formation of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through gravitational collapse of a bound clump of pebbles

Comments:    accepted by MNRAS
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as:    arXiv:1710.07846 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1710.07846v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Juergen Blum
[v1] Sat, 21 Oct 2017 19:22:10 GMT (2599kb,D)

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