DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 28. Deep Space 1 at Comet Borrelly
Oral, Chairs: M. Festou, D. Boice, Thursday, November 29, 2001, 10:30-11:40am, Regency GH

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[28.03] The Geology of Comet 19P/Borrelly

D. T. Britt (University of Tennessee), D. C. Boice (SwRI), R. M. Nelson (JPL), L. A. Soderblom (USGS), N. Thomas (MPAE)

The Deep Space One spacecraft returned MICAS images of the Comet 19P/Borrelly with surface resolutions as good as 60 meters per pixel. These data converted the nucleus of Borrelly from an astronomical object, obscured by its coma of gas and dust, to a geological object with striking surface morphology and processes. The surface is dominated by two major units. The Smooth Rolling Plains (SRP) unit shows higher than average albedo, is smoother than average, and is associated with the surface locations of Borrelly's active jets. The smooth terrain and higher albedo appear associated with active resurfacing processes from dust ejection. Away from the active jets the surface is darker, rougher, and exhibits mottled albedo features. This Rugged Terrain unit may represent older surface material. Along the terminator there are 4 parallel ridges that are oriented normal to the long axis of the comet. On the sun side are a complex set of fractures near what appears the narrowest part of the comet. Several crater-like depressions are visible, but the surface generally lacks abundant craters. Albedo values vary by at least a factor of two across the surface.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dbritt@utk.edu

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