The nonmagnetic nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Hans-Ulrich Auster, Istvan Apathy, Gerhard Berghofer, Karl-Heinz Fornacon, Anatoli Remizov, Chris Carr, Carsten Güttler, Gerhard Haerendel, Philip Heinisch, David Hercik, Martin Hilchenbach, Ekkehard Kührt, Werner Magnes, Uwe Motschmann, Ingo Richter, Christopher T. Russell, Anita Przyklenk, Konrad Schwingenschuh, Holger Sierks, and Karl-Heinz Glassmeier

Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5102
Published online 14 April 2015 [DOI:10.1126/science.aaa5102]


Supplementary Materials (PDF)

Knowledge of the magnetization of planetary bodies constrains their origin and evolution, as well as the conditions in the solar nebular at that time. Based on magnetic field measurements during the descent and subsequent multiple touchdown of the Rosetta lander Philae on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we show that no global magnetic field was detected within the limitations of analysis. The ROMAP suite of sensors measured an upper magnetic field magnitude of less than 2 nT at the cometary surface at multiple locations with the upper specific magnetic moment being < 3.1·10−5 Am2/kg for meter-size homogeneous magnetized boulders. The maximum dipole moment of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 1.6·108 Am2. We conclude that on the meter-scale, magnetic alignment in the pre-planetary nebula is of minor importance. [/su_quote]