Temporal morphological changes in the Imhotep region of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Olivier Groussin 1 Holger Sierks 2 Cesare Barbieri 3 Philippe Lamy 1 Rafael Rodrigo 4, 5 Detlef Koschny 6 Hans Rickman 7, 8 Horst Uwe Keller 9, 10 Michael F. A'Hearn 11 Anne-Thérèse Auger 1 Maria A. Barucci 12 Jean-Loup Bertaux 13 Ivano Bertini 14 Sébastien Besse 6 Gabriele Cremonese 15 Vania da Deppo 16 Björn Davidsson 7 Stefano Debei 15 Mariolino de Cecco 17 Mohamed Ramy El-Maarry 18 Sonia Fornasier 12 Marco Fulle 19 Pedro J. Gutierrez 20 Carsten Güttler 2 Stubbe Hviid 3 Wing-Huen Ip 21 Laurent Jorda 1 Jörg Knollenberg 3 Gabor Kovacs 2 J.-Rainer Kramm 2 Ekkerhard Kührt 3 Michael Kueppers 22 Luisa-Maria Lara 20 Monica Lazzarin 3 Josè Juan Lopez-Moreno 20 Stephen Lowry 23 Simone Marchi 24 Francesco Marzari 3 Matteo Massironi 25, 14 Stefano Mottola 3 Giampiero Naletto 14, 16, 26 Nilda Oklay 2 Maurizio Pajola 14 Antoine Pommerol 18 Nicholas Thomas 18 I. Toth 27 Cécilia Tubiana 2 Jean-Baptiste Vincent 2
Abstract : We report on the first major temporal morphological changes observed on the surface of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the smooth terrains of the Imhotep region. We used images of the OSIRIS cameras onboard Rosetta to follow the temporal changes from 24 May 2015 to 11 July 2015. The morphological changes observed on the surface are visible in the form of roundish features that are growing in size from a given location in a preferential direction at a rate of 5.6-8.1 x 10-5 m s-1 during the observational period. The location where the changes started and the contours of the expanding features are bluer than the surroundings, which suggests that ices (H2O and/or CO2<:sub> are exposed on the surface. However, sublimation of ices alone is not sufficient to explain the observed expanding features. No significant variations in the dust activity pattern are observed during the period of changes.
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Olivier Groussin, Holger Sierks, Cesare Barbieri, Philippe Lamy, Rafael Rodrigo, et al.. Temporal morphological changes in the Imhotep region of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2015, 583, A36 (4 p.). ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201527020⟩. ⟨hal-01439792⟩



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