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Proceedings Paper

Wet comet model: Rosetta redux
Author(s): Robert B. Sheldon
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Paper Abstract

The wet-comet model (WCM) of the structure and composition of comets was developed in 2005 to replace the “dirty-snowball” model (DSM) of Fred Whipple, because the first comet flybys of P/Halley “armada” revealed a very different landscape. Subsequent flybys of P/Borrelly, P/Wild-2, P/Hartley, P/Tempel-1 have confirmed and refined the model, so that we confidently predicted that the Rosetta mission would encounter a prolate, tumbling, concrete-encrusted, black comet: P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Unfortunately, the Philae lander team was preparing for a DSM and the anchors bounced off the concrete surface, but the orbiter has returned spec- tacular pictures of every crevice, which confirm and extend the WCM yet a sixth time. We report of what we predicted, what was observed, and several unexpected results from the ROSETTA mission.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2015
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9606, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XVII, 96061A (16 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2220075
Show Author Affiliations
Robert B. Sheldon, Grassmere Dynamics LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9606:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology XVII
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Yu. Rozanov; Nalin C. Wickramasinghe, Editor(s)

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