Laboratory Studies Towards Understanding Comets

Gudipati, Murthy S and Simonia, Irakli (2015) Laboratory Studies Towards Understanding Comets. Space Science Reviews, 197 (1-4). pp. 101-150.

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This review presents some of the recent advancements in our understanding of comets facilitated by laboratory studies, need for new laboratory simulations, and predictions for future explorations. With the spacecraft Rosetta at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a large volume of science data is expected to follow early results that have been published recently. The most surprising of them being hard ice shell that bounced the lander Philae a couple of times before settling on the comet. Long evaded molecular nitrogen has now been detected in the comet 67P/CG. The observed density of 470 kg m^{- 3} is in line with other comet observations, whereas the nature and composition of hydrocarbons detected on the surface are still a puzzle. Observation of D/H ratio that deviates significantly from Earth's water D/H ratio brings back to the table the long-standing question whether or not water on Earth was delivered by comet impacts. Our review summarizes some of the critical laboratory work that helps improve our understanding of cometary interior (whether amorphous or crystalline or containing clathrates), cometary surface (rich of complex organics), cometary coma and tail (D/H ratio, negative ions, and photoluminescence). Outstanding questions are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Faculties/Schools > School of Natural Sciences and Engineering
Depositing User: Irakli Simonia
Date Deposited: 23 May 2016 10:30
Last Modified: 23 May 2016 10:30

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