The spatial distribution of water in the inner coma of Comet 9P/Tempel 1: Comparison between models and observations

S. Finklenburg*, N. Thomas, C. C. Su, Jong-Shinn Wu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The near nucleus coma of Comet 9P/Tempel 1 has been simulated with the 3D Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) code PDSC++ (Su, C.-C. [2013]. Parallel Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) Methods for Modeling Rarefied Gas Dynamics. PhD Thesis, National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan) and the derived column densities have been compared to observations of the water vapour distribution found by using infrared imaging spectrometer on the Deep Impact spacecraft (Feaga, L.M., A'Hearn, M.F., Sunshine, J.M., Groussin, O., Farnham, T.L. [2007]. Icarus 191(2), 134-145. Modelled total production rates are also compared to various observations made at the time of the Deep Impact encounter. Three different models were tested. For all models, the shape model constructed from the Deep Impact observations by Thomas et al. (Thomas, P.C., Veverka, J., Belton, M.J.S., Hidy, A., A'Hearn, M.F., Farnham, T.L., et al. [2007]. Icarus, 187(1), 4-15. was used. Outgassing depending only on the cosine of the solar insolation angle on each shape model facet is shown to provide an unsatisfactory model. Models constructed on the basis of active areas suggested by Kossacki and Szutowicz (Kossacki, K., Szutowicz, S. [2008]. Icarus, 195(2), 705-724. are shown to be superior. The Kossacki and Szutowicz model, however, also shows deficits which we have sought to improve upon. For the best model we investigate the properties of the outflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-23
Number of pages15
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2014


  • Comet Tempel 1
  • Comets, coma
  • Comets, nucleus


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