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Comets which consist of two parts, like Chury, can form after a catastrophic collision of larger bodies. Such collisions may have taken place in a later phase of our solar system, which suggests that Chury can be much younger than previously assumed. This is shown through computer simulations by an international research group with the participation of the University of Bern.
In the computer simulations, the research team investigated what happened after two large comet nuclei violently collided together. "The calculations showed that a large part of the material accumulates in many smaller bodies," explains Martin Jutzi of the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern and member of the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS. The newly created objects have different sizes and shapes, among them are many elongated bodies, some of which consist of two parts, just like the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which the University of Bern studied in detail with the Bern mass spectrometer ROSINA on the Rosetta spacecraft.
Collisions - Part - Material - Martin - Jutzi
"We were surprised that in such catastrophic collisions only a small part of the material is considerably compressed and heated," says Martin Jutzi. Moreover, this material is then ejected and hardly contributes to the formation of the smaller bodies that form a new generation of comet nuclei. On the side of the comet opposite the impact point, volatile substances can withstand even violent collisions. This is why the new generation of comets still has a low density and is rich in volatile substances—properties which have also been found on the comet Chury. Therefore, the duck-shaped comet may well have emerged after a violent, late collision and did not necessarily have to originate from the early formation phase of the solar system, as has been claimed repeatedly. Such collisions could have taken place relatively late in the...
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