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Rosetta Publications

For all publications related to the Rosetta mission, please include the following acknowledgement:

Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.

For papers using Rosetta mission archive data provided by the PSA ( or PDS ( please acknowledge the Principal Investigator(s) as well as the ESA Planetary Science Archive and NASA PDS Planetary Data System.

To refer to this page you can use the following url:

A list of Rosetta publications is available here: ADS Library, but as the Rosetta mission is in its Legacy phase, the list is not routinely updated.

Research articles and reports from the Science journal special issue, Catching a comet, in which the first results from the Rosetta orbiter instruments are reported are available (free access) here.

Research articles and reports from the Science journal special issue on Philae's first look are available (free access) here.

A special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics on Rosetta mission results pre-perihelion was published in November 2015. It is available here.

A special issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society resulting from The ESLAB 50 Symposium - spacecraft at comets from 1P/Halley to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was compiled in Autumn 2016. It is available here.

A second special issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society resulting from the conference Comets: A new vision after Rosetta and Philae was compiled in Spring/Summer 2017. It is available here.

A second special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics on Rosetta mission full comet phase results was published in September 2019. It is available here.

A list of Rosetta-related theses which have been prepared can be found here.

Publication archive

Publication archive

Several instruments have been described at the annual meetings of the EGS (European Geophysical Society) and the DPS (Division for Planetary Sciences). The numerous abstracts which were published can be found in:

Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 1, No. 3 (EGS)

Published: 01 March 1999
An improved magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) model with chemistry is presented. The analysis of the source and sink terms for H2O+ shows that for small comets up to 11% of water molecules are finally ionized. For large comets (such as Halley) this fraction decreases to less than 3%. From the MHD scaling laws a similarity law for the individual ion densities is deduced which takes into account that the mother molecules are depleted by dissociation. This is applied to H2O+ ions. Radial density profiles from model calculations, observations by Giotto near comet Halley, and ground based observations of three comets confirm this scaling law for H2O+ ions. From the similarity law for the density a scaling law for the column density is derived which is more convenient to apply for ground based observations. From these scaling laws methods are derived which allow the determination of the water production rate from the ground based images of the H2O+ ions. Finally, the two dimensional images of model column densities are compared with observations.
Published: 03 October 1998
The recent passage of the Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) comet has provided the first opportunity to analyse the infrared spectral properties of a bright comet both from the ground and by the ISO space observatory. Previous works have already been dedicated to study the potential candidates to reproduce the cometary feature at 10 micron observed for different comets. We have applied a similar approach to compare the Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) spectra with laboratory data. The best fit has been obtained by using a mixture of crystalline Mg-rich olivine (forsterite), amorphous olivine and amorphous carbon grains. Some constraints on the possible cometary grain types derive from our simulation. Aggregates of submicron particles, composed of amorphous and crystalline olivine and amorphous carbon materials seem to be compatible with the cometary emission. Moreover, the possibility of fitting observational data on a wide IR spectra range, offered by ISO, provides interesting hints about the size distribution of grains responsible for the detected features
Published: 06 December 1998
III. First Modeling of a CO-Dominated Coma, with Application to Comets 46 P/Wirtanen and 29 P/Schwassmann-Wachmann I

We present the first gasdynamic simulations of the coma formed by the diffusion from a comet nucleus interior of a volatile molecule at large heliocentic distance. The method used is a generalization of that described in J. F. Crifo et al. (1995, Icarus 116, 77-112). The molecule is assumed to be CO.

Published: 01 March 1999
Imaging of comet 46P/Wirtanen was performed in the standard VRI filters on 10 and 11 November 1996 with the 1.0 m telescope of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO). After proper processing and calibration, the images have been used to derive information about the isophote distribution, magnitude and colour indices. We observed a coma extending to at most ~5×10³ km. We derive absolute magnitudes of the coma for the different filters and the colours V-R = 0.18±0.17 and R-I = 0.39±0.16.
Published: 06 December 1998
Comet 46P/Wirtanen is the target comet of the ROSETTA mission. Here, we give an overview of the information currently available on this comet from remote-sensing observations. Main emphasis is put on the description of the coma in terms of morphology, composition and evolution. We also summarize the current knowledge of the basic properties of the nucleus, in particular its size and rotational properties.
Published: 02 September 1999
The International Rosetta Mission, approved by the Science Programme Committee of the European Space Agency as the Planetary Cornerstone Mission in ESA's long-term programme Horizon 2000, will rendezvous in 2011 with Comet 46P/Wirtanen close to its aphelion and will study the nucleus and the evolution of the coma for almost two years until it reaches perihelion.
Published: 02 September 1999
Astronomical observations of size and of related outgassing rates seem not to be compatible for the nucleus of comet 46 P/Wirtanen, the target comet of the ROSETTA mission. This possible disagreement has caused speculations about peculiar properties of this comet nucleus. It is shown by model calculations which also takes into account vertical heat fluxes into the nucleus that there is a possibility to combine the results of astronomical observations within a model of a freely sublimating ice surface of this comet with an outgassing area of about half the dayside surface. The resulting half-size parameter (i.e. the radius of an equivalent sphere) can be shown to be of about R H (725±230) m, and the nucleus is shown to have an active area of about half of the dayside surface, i.e. of about 25% of the total surface.
Published: 10 August 1999
This study is the first investigation of the dust collection by a spacecraft orbiting a cometary nucleus, which is based on a physically consistent ab-initio model of the dust distribution in the vicinity of an aspherical comet nucleus. The homogeneous bean-shaped nucleus of Crifo & Rodionov (1997a) is used, with updated parameter values adapted to comet 46P/Wirtanen, target of the Rosetta mission, but the conclusions of the study have a general significance.
Published: 02 June 1999
We investigate whether the modelling of the immediate vicinity of an active nucleus -currently unobservable- can, as the modelling of the outer, observable coma, be based on unrealistic simple assumptions such as those of nucleus and dust grains sphericity. We point out the inconsistency of models based on such assumptions, which, to manage compatibility with the observations, have to introduce additional assumptions that conflict with the previous ones, such as the existence of active areas of the nucleus. We argue that, while the outer coma models being phenomenological in nature, can perhaps tolerate such inconsistencies, the circumnuclear coma models must be predictive, having to obviate the lack of observational data, and therefore must exclude implausible and ad hoc assumptions, and advocate only well-understood physical processes and duly validated modelling methods. We describe the first steps of development of a predictive circumnuclear coma model, and present a set of results obtained with parameters fitted to comet 46P/Wirtanen, the target of the Rosetta mission, but of a quite general significance.
Published: 02 May 1999
The infrared emission of various comets can be matched within the framework that all comets are made of aggregated interstellar dust. This is demonstrated by comparing results on Halley (a periodic comet), Borrelly (a Jupiter family short period comet), Hale-Bopp (a long period comet), and extra-solar comets in the beta-Pictoris disk. Attempts have been made to generalize the chemical composition of comet nuclei based on the observation of cometary dust and volatiles and the interstellar dust model. Finally, we deduce some of the expected dust and surface properties of comet Wirtanen from the interstellar dust model as applied to other comets.
Published: 02 May 1999
A dust environment working group was encouraged by ESA to provide coma dust environment models useful to plan the ROSETTA operations around the nucleus of short period comet 46P/Wirtanen. Among the many parameters describing the dust released from the nucleus surface, special care was devoted to the dust size distribution. Its present uncertainty makes all environment models sensitive, mainly, to which actual size distribution is adopted. In fact, it must be stressed that no other cometary dust parameter can be derived, such as dust loss rate or dust to gas ratio, if the size distribution remains undetermined. This paper will focus, therefore, on the available information on cometary dust size distributions, starting from the in situ measurement cornerstone provided by the GIOTTO-DIDSY results. Available ground-based observations are then reviewed, in order to disentangle the real sensitivity of them to this quantity; the size distribution is always embedded together with other dust parameters, and its influence on the published results is often forgotten.
Published: 02 May 1999
The SWAN instrument on board SOHO is a Lyman-alpha photometer able to map the sky intensity with a resolution of 1°, primarily devoted to the study of the large scale distribution of solar wind from its imprints on the interplanetary sky background. In addition SWAN was extensively used to map the Lyman-alpha emission of several comets since launch in December 1995. Here we report observations of Comet 46 P/Wirtanen near perihelion. From the recorded Lyman-alpha intensity the H2O production rate was derived for 45 observations from 21 December 1996-17 May 1997, with a peak of 1.6±0.4×1028 mol/s just before perihelion. This should help to constrain the physical models of 46 P/Wirtanen for Rosetta mission planning purposes.
Published: 02 May 1999
In this paper we present the results of numerical models of cometary nucleus evolution, developed in order to understand which are the processes leading to the formation of active and non-active regions on the cometary surface. The used numerical code solves the equations of heat transport and gas diffusion within a porous nucleus composed of different ices--such as water (the dominant constituent), CO2, CO- and of dust grains embedded in the ice matrix. By varying the set of physical parameters describing the initial properties of comet P/Wirtanen, the different behaviour of the icy and dusty areas can be followed.
Published: 02 May 1999
An improved unidimensional model of the heat transport and gas diffusion within a porous cometary nucleus is presented, in which the time-dependent gas diffusion equation is coupled with the heat diffusion equation to describe the energy transport due to sublimation and recondensation of volatiles, but is solved independently using a different discrete time step. Also, the erosion of interfaces within the nucleus, due to the sublimation of ices and the removal of dust, is now treated by means of a continuous adaptation of the discrete grid to the interfaces positions, removing numerical stability problems associated with the variation of structure and composition of the discrete layers. The results of this model are then compared with those of another unidimensional model which does not make use of the above-mentioned numerical methods, both computed for the same set of physical parameters describing comet P/Wirtanen, and the effects of the different modelling assumptions on the results are discussed. A new bidimensional model of the heat transport within a porous comet nucleus is presented, and its results are compared with those obtained from the above-mentioned unidimensional model (modified to include the same physics of the bidimensional model). The ability of bidimensional models to better describe the effects of variations in the local physical conditions on the comet activity is then discussed.
Published: 02 May 1999
Published: 02 May 1999
Pages: 485
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
ISBN: 0-471-61011-9
Published: 01 January 1991
Pages: 577
Publisher: Pergamon Press
ISBN: 0-08-034859-9
Published: 01 January 1990
Pages: 419
Publisher: Biblioteca della Edizioni Scientifiche e Tecniche Mondadori
ISSN: 0303-2752
Published: 01 January 1986
Pages: 133
Publisher: Walker and Company
ISBN: 0-8027-0855-2
Published: 01 January 1985
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