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Title:
The formation of an ice crust below the dust mantle of a cometary nucleus
Authors:
Prialnik, D.; Mekler, Y.
Affiliation:
AA(Tel Aviv University, Israel), AB(DLR, Institut für Raumsimulation, Cologne, Germany)
Publication:
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 366, Jan. 1, 1991, p. 318-323. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
01/1991
Category:
Astrophysics; Comets
Origin:
STI
NASA/STI Keywords:
Comet Nuclei, Computational Astrophysics, Cosmic Dust, Ice Formation, Astronomical Models, Condensation, Density Distribution, Heat Transfer, Perihelions, Porosity
Keywords:
COMETS, COMET NUCLEI, FORMATION, ICE, CRUST, DUST, MANTLE, VAPOR, CONDENSATION, POROSITY, THICKNESS, PARAMETERS, HEAT, TRANSPORT, MODELS, HALLEY, SUBLIMATION, STRUCTURE, SURFACE, EVAPORATION, DENSITY, DEPTH, PRODUCTION RATE, TEMPERATURE, FLUX, CALCULATIONS, NUMERICAL METHODS
DOI:
10.1086/169564
Bibliographic Code:
1991ApJ...366..318P

Abstract

Using a cometary model which assumes a porous cometary nucleus covered by an equally porous thin permanent dust mantle, the possible formation of an ice crust below the surface of the comet nucleus by the condensation of the inward-flowing vapor is investigated. It is found that, for any given porosity value, there is a range of dust-mantle thicknesses at which the formation of a crust is favored. Below this range, sublimation is too strong, making it impossible for any change in the ice structure within a surface layer to occur before the layer evaporates; above this range, the thick dust mantle quenches the vapor production rate. The consequences of the ice crust formation are examined for two models, with the dust mantles 5-mm and 1-mm thick, respectively.

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