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A dynamic surface

A dynamic surface


Date: 21 January 2015
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Copyright: See below

In the Maftet region, a block of material to the right (B) has a similar shape and appearance to the depression on the left (A). The block is around 100 m in diameter, and the pit is around 150 m across. One theory is that this is evidence of surface disruption and material ejection produced by subsurface gas pressure build-up of a super-volatile such as carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. However, the proposal needs to overcome the high porosity of the nucleus and explain how gas can be trapped in a pocket so that pressure can build. Mechanisms producing subsurface ice barriers (through volatile transport to colder areas within the nucleus) need to be considered.

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Last Update: 1 September 2019
28-Nov-2021 22:49 UT

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