T. Spohn, K. Seiferlin, A. Hagermann
Feb 6, 2007
Space Science Reviews
MUPUS, the multi purpose sensor package onboard the Rosetta lander Philae, will measure the energy balance and the physical parameters in the near-surface layers – up to about 30 cm depth- of the nucleus of Rosetta’s target comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Moreover it will monitor changes in these parameters over time as the comet approaches the sun. Among the parameters studied are the density, the porosity, cohesion, the thermal diffusivity and conductivity, and temperature. The data should increase our knowledge of how comets work, and how the coma gases form. The data may also be used to constrain the microstructure of the nucleus material. Changes with time of physical properties will reveal timescales and possibly the nature of processes that modify the material close to the surface. Thereby, the data will indicate how pristine cometary matter sampled and analysed by other experiments on Philae really is.