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Volatiles Outgassing Associations in Cometary Nuclei: Synthesizing Rosetta and ground-based observations

Presentation #411.04 in the session Cometary Volatiles (iPosters).

Published onOct 20, 2022
Volatiles Outgassing Associations in Cometary Nuclei: Synthesizing Rosetta and ground-based observations

Comets are a diverse population of small, less processed remnants from the era of solar system formation that span a range of volatile-refractory content. Two major questions in cometary science are how comets have been altered since their formation, and how volatiles are stored in and released from their nucleus. Comet compositions provide insights into the initial conditions and subsequent evolution of the early solar system (e.g., see Eistrup et al. 2019; Oberg et al. 2015). As comets enter the inner solar system (heliocentric distance < 3 AU) increasing solar radiation flux causes their ices to sublime, creating a freely expanding atmosphere known as the coma, along with a dust tail and an ion tail. The nuclei of active comets are obscured by the dust and gas surrounding them, and even in situ missions see little ice on the surface (e.g., see Bockelée-Morvan et al. 2016). The parent volatile composition of the inner coma has been used as a proxy for the chemical composition of the nucleus, but the accuracy of this assumption depends on how volatiles are stored in and released from the nucleus. The number of comets studied by spacecraft are few, so information on comet properties over the entire population are obtained from remote sensing. Detailed in-situ volatile compositional information has only been determined from measurements by instruments such as ROSINA and MIRO on board of the Rosetta spacecraft. Thus, comparison of these measurements to the broader sample of remotely observed comets is crucial to understand the physical processes controlling volatile release. Physical and chemical association trends have been established both through the spatial distribution of coma molecules in individual comets, and among comet populations through compositional comparisons of parent volatiles (e.g., Dello Russo et al. 2016; Luspay-Kuti et al. 2019; Läuter et al. 2020; Lippi et al. 2021). Remote cometary coma measurements along with in situ measurements in few comets suggested that in most cases, minor species (e.g., CH3OH, CO, H2CO, CH4, O2) are embedded with either H2O or CO2 as their main matrix ice. In this work, we will connect correlations and associations of volatiles measured from Aug 2014 – Sep 2016 in comet 67P to those measured from the ground-based instruments. The authors acknowledge support by the NASA Emerging Worlds and NASA Rosetta Data Analysis Program.

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