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Proceedings Paper

Implications of cometary water: deep impact, stardust, and Hyabusa
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Paper Abstract

Three recent in situ spacecraft missions have explored comets or asteroids, producing data in conflict with the standard comet paradigm, the Whipple Dirty Snowball Model (DSM). We have developed an alternative Wet Comet Model (WCM) which proposes that comets undergo an irreversible phase change to a wet comet when they enter within Mars orbit. The WCM may explain some of the observational discrepancies seen by Deep Impact, Stardust and Hayabusa. In particular, it accurately predicted Deep Impact observation of organics, biominerals, and meltwater temperatures. Predictions concerning Stardust's returned cometary dust particles have yet to be falsified, but if comets are largely composed of the silicates seen by Stardust, there may be a cometary explanation for Itokawa's low density rubble-pile observed by Hayabusa.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6309, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX, 63090L (14 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681232
Show Author Affiliations
Robert B. Sheldon, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard B. Hoover, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6309:
Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX
Richard B. Hoover; Gilbert V. Levin; Alexei Y. Rozanov, Editor(s)

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