The morphology and surface processes of Comet 19/P Borrelly
Abbreviated Journal Title
Comets; geological processes; regoliths; surfaces; Comets; NUCLEUS; MATHILDE; Astronomy & Astrophysics
The flyby of the nucleus of the Comet 19P/Borrelly by the Peep Space I spacecraft produced the best views to date of the surface of these interesting objects. It transformed Borrelly from an astronomical object shrouded in coma of gas and dust into a geological object with complex surface processes and a rich history of erosion and landform evolution. Based on analysis of the highest resolution images, stereo images, photometry, and albedo we have mapped four major morphological units and four terrain features. The morphological units are named dark spots, mottled terrain, mesas, and smooth terrain. The features are named ridges, troughs, pits, and hills. In strong contrast to asteroids, unambiguous impact craters were not observed on Borrelly's surface. Because of the relatively short period of this comet, surface erosion by volatile sublimation is, in geologic terms, a very active process. The formation and the morphologies of units and features appear to be driven by differential rates of sublimation erosion. Erosional rates across the comet are probably controlled by solar energy input and the location of the subsolar point during perihelion. Differences in energy input may produce different varieties of sublimation erosional landforms. The terrains on Borrelly suggest that solar energy input could map directly into erosional processes and landforms. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"The morphology and surface processes of Comet 19/P Borrelly" (2004). Faculty Bibliography 2000s. 4229.