Volume 608, December 2017
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||30 November 2017|
Radar backscattering from a large-grain cometary coma: numerical simulation
1 Department of Electrical Engineering, Paderborn University, Warburger Str. 100, 33098 Paderborn, Germany
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019, USA
3 School of Natural Sciences, Far Eastern Federal University, 8 Sukhanova Street, 690950 Vladivostok, Russia
Received: 17 March 2017
Accepted: 12 October 2017
We numerically simulate the circular polarization ratio of the radar signal backscattered from a large-grain cometary coma and compare the simulation results with the radar measurements for seven comets. We apply the discrete dipole approximation method and a model of random irregular particles. Our results confirm water ice composition of the cm-sized chunks detected by the NASA Deep Impact space probe in the vicinity of the nucleus of Comet 103P/Hartley 2. The index of the power-law size distribution in this case can be constrained to the range n ≈ 3.3–4.3. For the other considered comets the circular polarization ratio can be reproduced with variations of the power index between 2 and 5.
Key words: methods: numerical / comets: general / scattering
© ESO, 2017
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