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Paper: Investigating the physical properties of outbursts on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Volume: 513, Serendipities in the Solar System and Beyond
Page: 73
Authors: Lin, Z.-Y.; Knollenberg, J.; Vincent, J.-B.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Ip, W.-H.
Abstract: Cometary outbursts on several comets have been observed both by ground-based telescopes and by in situ instruments on spacecraft. However, the mechanism behind and the physical properties of these phenomena are still unclear. The OSIRIS camera onboard the Rosetta spacecraft provided first-hand information on the outbursts from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its perihelion passage in 2015. The physical properties of the outbursts can be investigated by examining the time-series of these high resolution images. An analysis is made of the wide- and narrow-angle images obtained during the monitoring of the outburst sequences which occurred between July and September 2015. A ring masking technique is used to calculate the excess brightness of the outbursts. The ejected mass and expansion velocity of the outbursts is estimated from differences in images made with the same filter (orange filter). The calculated excess brightness from these outburst plumes ranges from a few percent to 28%. In some major outbursts, the brightness contribution from the outburst plume can be one or two times higher than that of the typical coma jet activities. The strongest event was the perihelion outburst detected just a few hours before perihelion. Transient events are detected by studying the brightness slope of the outburst plume with continuous streams of outflowing gas and dust triggered by yet to be understood driving mechanisms which remain active for several minutes to less than a few hours.
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