The opposition effect of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on post-perihelion Rosetta images

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

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

High-resolution OSIRIS/Rosetta images of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko acquired on the night run of 2016 April 9-10 show, at large scale, an opposition effect (OE) spot sweeping across Imhotep as the phase angle ranges from 0° to 17°. In this work, we fitted the phase curve of the whole surface imaged as well as three particular features using both the linear- exponential and Hapke models. These features encompass different types of spectral behaviour: a circular mesa, one venous structure and an assemblage of bright spots, going from red to blue colours. Both the Hapke and linear-exponential parameters indicate a stepwise sharpening of the OE from bright spots to circular mesa. Yet a very broad nonlinear phase curve is verified and no sign of sharp OE associated with a coherent-backscattering mechanism is observed. We estimate that the 67P surface is dominated by opaque, desiccated and larger-than-wavelength irregular grains. Veins and bright spots display photometric properties consistent with surfaces becoming slightly brighter as they are enriched by high-albedo ice grains. We also report the estimation of normal albedo for all cometary regions observed throughout the image sequence. Comparison to pre-perihelion results indicates that far better insolation of northern brighter regions, i.e. Hapi, Hathor and Seth, is sufficient to explain mismatches on the photometric parameters. However, metre-scale photometric analysis of the Imhotep-Ash boundary area advocates for mild darkening (< 7 per cent) of the surface at local scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S550-S567
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume469
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Photometry
  • Rosetta: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

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