Observations and analysis of a curved jet in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Lin Z.-Y., Lai I.-L., Su C.-C., Ip W.-H., Lee J.-C., Wu J.-S., Vincent J.-B., La Forgia F., Sierks H., Barbieri C., Lamy P.L., Rodrigo R., Koschny D., Rickman H., Keller H.U., Agarwal J., A’Hearn M.F., Barucci M.A., Bertaux J.-L., Bertini I., Bodewits D., Cremonese G., Da Deppo V., Davidsson B., Debei S., De Cecco M., Fornasier S., Fulle M., Groussin O., Gutiérrez P.J., Güttler C., Hviid S.F., Jorda L., Knollenberg J., Kovacs G., Kramm J.-R., Kührt E., Küppers M., Lara L.M., Lazzarin M., López-Moreno J.J., Lowry S., Marzari F., Michalik H., Mottola S., Naletto G., Oklay N., Pajola M., Rozek A., Thomas N., Tubiana C. 2016. Observations and analysis of a curved jet in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy and Astrophysics 588, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527784

We analyze the physical properties and dynamical origin of a curved jet of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that was observed repeatedly in several nucleus rotations starting on May 30 and persisting until early August, 2015.

Methods. We simulated the motion of dust grains ejected from the nucleus surface under the influence of the gravity and viscous drag e ff ect of the expanding gas flow from the rotating nucleus.

Results. The formation of the curved jet is a combination of the size of the dust particles (similar to 0.1-1 mm) and the location of the source region near the nucleus equator. This enhances the spiral feature of the collimated dust stream after the dust is accelerated to a terminal speed on the order of m s(-1).

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