Physical Properties of Comets


There have been several recent reviews of the physical properties of cometary nuclei, most concentrating on the speci cs of the rotation periods, shapes, sizes and the surface properties. This review will present an updated summary of these properties based on recent observations. There are nucleus parameters known for 26 nuclei. These comet nuclei are relatively small prolate ellipsoids of low albedo. The axis ratios range between 1.1{2.6 which when combined with rotation periods constrains the density lower limits. Typically the nuclei are found to have very small fractional active areas. Little direct observational evidence exists for the internal physical properties, however, the results to date suggest a strengthless agglomeration of gravitationally bound planetesimals with a bulk density between 0.5-1.0 gm cm .

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@inproceedings{MeechPhysicalPO, title={Physical Properties of Comets}, author={Karen J Meech} }