Numerical simulations of comet nuclei. II. The effect of the dust mantle

M. Podolak, G. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The insulating effect of an evolving dust mantle is examined. The role of this mantle in determining the surface temperature of the ice core is studied as a function of the mass fraction of the dust in the ice-dust mixture and the thermal conductivity of the nucleus. Using the so-called "looselattice" model of D.A. Mendis and G.D. Brin (1977, Moon17, 359-372) (which was also extended to include cracks and pores in the mantle), it was found that both high dust to ice ratios and high core conductivities inhibit mantle blowoff. Indeed, it is often possible to build an essentially permanent dust mantle around an ice nucleus, so that the nucleus will take on an asteroidal appearance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-277
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes


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