Dust Impact Monitor (SESAME-DIM) on-board Rosetta/Philae: Aerogel as comet analog material

Alberto Flandes*, Thomas Albin, Walter Arnold, Hans Herbert Fischer, Attila Hirn, Alexander Loose, Cornelia Mewes, Morris Podolak, Klaus J. Seidensticker, Cynthia Volkert, Harald Krüger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


On 12 November 2014, during the descent of the Rosetta lander Philae to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko the Dust Impact Monitor (DIM) on board Philae recorded an impact of a cometary dust impact of a cometary dust particle at 2.4 km from the comet surface (5 km from the nucleus’ barycentre). In this work, we report further experiments that support the identification of this particle. We use aerogel as a comet analog material to characterise the properties of this particle. Our experiments show that this particle has a radius of 0.9 mm, a low density of 0.25 g/cm3 and a high porosity close to 90%. The particle likely moved at near 4 m/s with respect to the comet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Aerogel
  • Comet 67P
  • Dust
  • Dust Impact Monitor (DIM)
  • Philae
  • Rosetta
  • Young's modulus


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