Spectrophotometry of the Khonsu region on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using OSIRIS instrument images

J. D.P. Deshapriya, M. A. Barucci, S. Fornasier, C. Feller, P. H. Hasselmann, H. Sierks, M. R. El-Maarry, M. Pajola, C. Barbieri, P. L. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, J. Agarwal, M. F. A'Hearn, J. L. Bertaux, I. Bertini, S. Boudreault, G. Cremonese, V. Da DeppoB. J.R. Davidsson, S. Debei, J. Deller, M. De Cecco, M. Fulle, A. Gicquel, O. Groussin, P. J. Gutierrez, C. Güttler, M. Hofmann, S. F. Hviid, W. Ip, L. Jorda, H. U. Keller, J. Knollenberg, R. Kramm, E. Kührt, M. Küppers, L. Lara, M. Lazzarin, J. J. Lopez Moreno, F. Marzari, S. Mottola, G. Naletto, N. Oklay, D. Perna, A. Pommerol, N. Thomas, C. Tubiana, J. B. Vincent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Our work focuses on the spectrophotometric analysis of selected terrain and bright patches in the Khonsu region on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Despite the variety of geological features, their spectrophotometric properties appear to indicate a similar composition. It is noticeable that the smooth areas in Khonsu possess similar spectrophotometric behaviour to some other regions of the comet. We observed bright patches on Khonsu with an estimation of > 40 per cent of normal albedo and suggest that they are associated with H2O ice. One of the studied bright patches has been observed to exist on the surface for more than 5 months without a major decay of its size, implying the existence of potential sub-surface icy layers. Its location may be correlated with a cometary outburst during the perihelion passage of the comet in 2015 August, and we interpret it to have triggered the surface modifications necessary to unearth the stratified icy layers beneath the surface. A boulder analysis on Khonsu leads to a power-law index of -3.1 +0.2/-0.3 suggesting a boulder formation, shaped by varying geological processes for different morphological units.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S274-S286
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume462
DOIs
StatePublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
  • Techniques: photometric

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Spectrophotometry of the Khonsu region on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using OSIRIS instrument images'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this