31st Annual Meeting of the DPS, October 1999
Session 61. Laboratory Results
Contributed Oral Parallel Session, Thursday, October 14, 1999, 2:00-3:30pm, Sala Kursaal

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[61.06] Spectroscopic and Morphological Characterisation of Comet Dust Analogues: A Reference Frame for ``Dusty Experiments'' on-Board ROSETTA

J.R. Brucato (Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli), A. Rotundi (Istituto Universitario Navale, Napoli), L. Colangeli, V. Mennella (Osservatorio Astronomico di Capodimonte, Napoli), P. Palumbo, E. Bussoletti (Istituto Universitario Navale, Napoli)

The nature of cometary grains has been studied extensively by space-borne and ground-based observations. Heterogeneous fluffy agglomerates of organic material, silicates, and ices are candidates for cometary material. The dust can be completely amorphous, partially structured or crystalline and these grains may coexist at small scales. A number of instruments included in the ROSETTA mission will contribute to give more constraints on the cometary dust properties. Test and calibration of the payload devoted to dust characterisation with cometary analogues will play an important role for the success of the mission. The interpretations of returned scientific data will strongly benefit by the comparison with in ground instruments test results for different classes of analogues previously well characterised.

In this work we show the laboratory analysis results obtained on cometary dust analogues suitable to support ROSETTA payload accomplishment. In particular, we produced pure and mixed carbon and silicate grains by laser evaporation. Optical properties of dust samples produced in laboratory have been studied from far-UV to far-IR by hemispherical reflectance and transmittance. Field emission scanning electron microscopy has been used to identify different morphologies and infer on grains structure. Energy dispersive X-ray analysis has been performed to determine grain compositions of cometary dust analogues.

This work has been supported by ASI, CNR, MURST and ESA

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: brucato@na.astro.it

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