Characterization of the Abydos region through OSIRIS high-resolution images in support of CIVA measurements

Lucchetti, A, Cremonese, G, Jorda, L, Poulet, F, Bibring, J-P, Pajola, M, La Forgia, F, Massironi, M, El-Maarry, MR, Oklay, N, Sierks, H, Barbieri, C, Lamy, P, Rodrigo, R, Koschny, D, Rickman, H, Keller, HU, Agarwal, J, A’Hearn, MF, Barucci, MA, Bertaux, J-L, Bertini, I, Da Deppo, V, Davidsson, B, Debei, S, De Cecco, M, Fornasier, S, Fulle, M, Groussin, O, Gutierrez, PJ, Güttler, C, Hviid, SF, Ip, W-H, Knollenberg, J, Kramm, J-R, Kührt, E, Küppers, M, Lara, LM, Lazzarin, M, Moreno, JJLopez, Marzari, F, Mottola, S, Naletto, G, Preusker, F, Scholten, F, Thomas, N, Tubiana, C, Vincent, J-B. 2016. Characterization of the Abydos region through OSIRIS high-resolution images in support of CIVA measurements. Astronomy and Astrophysics 585, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201527330

On 12 November 2014, the European mission Rosetta delivered the Philae lander on the nucleus of comet 67P /Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P). After the first touchdown, the lander bounced three times before finally landing at a site named Abydos.

Aims. We provide a morphologically detailed analysis of the Abydos landing site to support Philae’s measurements and to give context for the interpretation of the images coming from the Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser (CIVA) camera system onboard the lander.

Methods. We used images acquired by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) on 6 December 2014 to perform the analysis of the Abydos landing site, which provided the geomorphological map, the gravitational slope map, the size-frequency distribution of the boulders. We also computed the albedo and spectral reddening maps.

Results. The morphological analysis of the region could suggest that Philae is located on a primordial terrain. The Abydos site is surrounded by two layered and fractured outcrops and presents a 0.02 km(2) talus deposit rich in boulders. The boulder size frequency distribution gives a cumulative power-law index of 4.0 + 0.3/0.4, which is correlated with gravitational events triggered by sublimation and /or thermal fracturing causing regressive erosion. The average value of the albedo is 5.8% at lambda(1) = 480.7 nm and 7.4% at lambda(2) = 649.2 nm, which is similar to the global albedos derived by OSIRIS and CIVA, respectively.

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