Comparative study of water ice exposures on cometary nuclei using multispectral imaging data

N. Oklay, J. M. Sunshine, M. Pajola, A. Pommerol, J. B. Vincent, S. Mottola, H. Sierks, S. Fornasier, M. A. Barucci, F. Preusker, F. Scholten, L. M. Lara, C. Barbieri, P. L. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, M. F. A'Hearn, J. L. Bertaux, I. BertiniD. Bodewits, G. Cremonese, V. Da Deppo, B. J.R. Davidsson, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, J. Deller, M. Fulle, A. Gicquel, O. S. Groussin, P. J. Gutíerrez, C. Güttler, I. Hall, M. Hofmann, S. F. Hviid, W. H. Ip, L. Jorda, H. U. Keller, J. Knollenberg, G. Kovacs, J. R. Kramm, E. Kührt, M. Küppers, M. Lazzarin, Z. Y. Lin, J. J. Lopez Moreno, F. Marzari, G. Naletto, X. Shi, N. Thomas, C. Tubiana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Deep Impact, EPOXI and Rosetta missions visited comets 9P/Tempel 1, 103P/Hartley 2 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, respectively. Each of these three missions was equipped with both multispectral imagers and infrared spectrometers. Bright blue features containing water ice were detected in each of these comet nuclei. We analysed multispectral properties of enriched water ice features observed via Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System narrow angle camera on comet 67P in the wavelength range of 260-1000 nm and then compared with multispectral data of water ice deposits observed on comets 9P and 103P. We characterize the UV/VIS properties of water-ice-rich features observed on the nuclei of these three comets. When compared to the average surface of each comet, our analysis shows that the water ice deposits seen on comet 9P are similar to the clustered water-ice-rich features seen on comet 67P, while the water ice deposit seen on comet 103P is more akin to two large isolated water-ice-rich features seen on comet 67P. Our results indicate that the water ice deposit observed on comet 103P contains more water ice than the water-ice-rich features observed on comets 9P and 67P, proportionally to the average surface of each nucleus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S394-S414
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
StatePublished - Nov 2016


  • Comets: individual: 103P/Hartley 2
  • Comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov
  • Comets: individual: 9P/Tempel 1
  • Gerasimenko
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Techniques: image processing
  • Techniques: imaging spectroscopy


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