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A three-dimensional modelling of the layered structure of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Luca Penasa 1 Matteo Massironi 1 Giampiero Naletto 1, 2 Emanuele Simioni 3, 4 Sabrina Ferrari 1 Maurizio Pajola 5 Alice Lucchetti 3 Frank Preusker 6 Frank Scholten 6 Laurent Jorda 7 Robert Gaskell 8 Francesca Ferri 1 Francesco Marzari 9 Björn Davidsson 10 S. Mottola 6 H. Sierks 11 Cesare Barbieri 1, 9 Philippe Lamy 7 Rafael Rodrigo 12, 13 Detlief Koschny 14 Hans Rickman 15, 16 Horst Uwe Keller 6, 17 Jessica Agarwal 11 Michael F. A’hearn 18 Maria Antonella Barucci 19 Jean-Loup Bertaux 20 Ivano Bertini 9 Gabriele Cremonese 3 Vania da Deppo 4 Stefano Debei 21 Mariolino de Cecco 22 Jakob Deller 11 Clément Feller 19 Sonia Fornasier 19 Elisa Frattin 9, 3 Marco Fulle 23 O. Groussin 7 Pedro J. Gutierrez 24 Carsten Güttler 11 Marc Hofmann 11 Stubbe F. Hviid 6 Wing-H. Ip 25, 26 Jörg Knollenberg 27, 6 Jörg Rainer Kramm 11 Ekkehard Kührt 6 Michael Kuppers 28 Florangela La Forgia 9 Luisa Maria Lara 24 Monica Lazzarin 9 Jui-Chi Lee 25 José J. Lopez Moreno 24 Nilda Oklay 6 Xian Shi 11 Nicolas Thomas 29 Cécilia Tubiana 11 Jean-Baptiste Vincent 6
Abstract : We provide a three-dimensional model of the inner layered structure of comet 67P based on the hypothesis of an extended layering independently wrapping each lobe. A large set of terrace orientations was collected on the latest shape model and then used as a proxy for the local orientation of the surfaces of discontinuity which defines the layers. We modelled the terraces as a family of concentric ellipsoidal shells with fixed axis ratios, producing a model that is completely defined by just eight free parameters. Each lobe of 67P has been modelled independently, and the two sets of parameters have been estimated by means of non-linear optimization of the measured terrace orientations. The proposed model is able to predict the orientation of terraces, the elongation of cliffs, the linear traces observed in the Wosret and Hathor regions and the peculiar alignment of boulder-like features which has been observed in the Hapi region, which appears to be related to the inner layering of the big lobe. Our analysis allowed us to identify a plane of junction between the two lobes, further confirming the independent nature of the lobes. Our layering models differ from the best-fitting topographic ellipsoids of the surface, demonstrating that the terraces are aligned to an internal structure of discontinuities, which is unevenly exposed on the surface, suggesting a complex history of localized material removal from the nucleus.
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Luca Penasa, Matteo Massironi, Giampiero Naletto, Emanuele Simioni, Sabrina Ferrari, et al.. A three-dimensional modelling of the layered structure of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Oxford University Press (OUP): Policy P - Oxford Open Option A, 2017, 469 (Suppl_2), pp.S741-S754. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stx2899⟩. ⟨obspm-02194511⟩

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