This work is a part of a more global effort aimed at understanding and interpreting in situ and remote sensing data acquired by instruments on board Rosetta. This study aims at deriving the dust mass source rate and the location of the dust jet source observed by Rosetta VIRTIS-M on 2015 April 12. The analysis is performed by means of the coupled kinetic modelling of gas and dust in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which were used for calculating the coma brightness as it would be seen from the Rosetta spacecraft. The dust mass production rate and a possible location of the jet origin needed to explain the Rosetta VIRTIS-M dust brightness image were inferred by comparing the calculated brightness with VIRTIS-M data. Our analysis suggests that the dust mass production rate needed to maintain the observed jet is about 1.9 kg s-1. According to our analysis, the location of the observed jet surface footprint is outside of the nucleus area characterized by the highest gas production rate, which suggests that gas and dust source rates are not necessarily proportional to each other across the entire nucleus surface. The inferred location of the possible jet origin is consistent with that of the observed active pits. In this paper, we show that the jet intensity is variable in time, and has a lifetime of at least 10 h.
- Comets: general
- Comets: individual: 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science