DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 38. Comets V
Poster, Highlighted on, Friday, September 5, 2003, 3:30-6:00pm, Sierra Ballroom I-II

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[38.02] Outgassing-induced effects in the rotational state of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during the Rosetta mission.

P. J. Gutierrez, L. Jorda (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille), N. H. Samarasinha (National Optical Astronomy Observatory), P. Lamy (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille)

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko [hereafter 67P/C-G] is the new main target of the Rosetta mission (a cornerstone mission in ESA's "Horizon 2000" program). The Rosetta spacecraft will orbit comet 67P/C-G for almost one year in 2015, and a module will land on its surface. In order to ensure the correct interpretation of the measurements taken by the instruments onboard the spacecraft and to help in the definition of an appropriate landing strategy, we carry out numerical simulations of the evolution of the rotational state of this comet under the effects of the sublimation-induced torque from the currrent epoch to the end of the Rosetta mission. In the simulations, we will take into account the known observational constraints on the nucleus size and the spin period and consider a range of scenarios: two thermophysical models, several densities, three initial angular momentum orientations, several activity patterns on the surface, and two initial rotational states. We will present our initial results including the typical changes in the angular momentum orientation and the spin period during the operational phase.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: pedro.gutierrez@oamp.fr

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.