Low-velocity collisions between centimeter-sized snowballs: Porosity dependence of coefficient of restitution for ice aggregates analogues in the Solar System

Yuri Shimaki, Masahiko Arakawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Understanding the collisional behavior of ice dust aggregates at low velocity is a key to determining the formation process of small icy bodies such as icy planetesimals, comets and icy satellites, and this collisional behavior is also closely related to the energy dissipation mechanism in Saturn's rings. We performed head-on collision experiments in air by means of free-falling centimeter-sized sintered snowballs with porosities from 44% to 80% at impact velocities from 0.44ms -1 to 4.12ms -1 at -10°C. In cases of porosity larger than 70%, impact sticking was the dominant collision outcome, while bouncing was dominant at lower porosity. Coefficients of restitution of snow in this velocity range were found to depend strongly on the porosity rather than the impact velocity and to decrease with the increase of the porosity. We successfully measured the compaction volume of snowballs after the impact, and it enabled us to estimate the dynamic compressive strength of snow with the assumption of the energy conservation between kinetic energy and work for deformation, which was found to be consistent with the upper limit of static compressive strength. The velocity dependence of coefficients of restitution of snow was analyzed using a Johnson's model, and a diagram for collision outcomes among equal-sized sintered snowballs was successfully drawn as a function of porosity and impact velocity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)310-319
    Number of pages10
    JournalIcarus
    Volume221
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

    Keywords

    • Collisional physics
    • Comets
    • Ices, Mechanical properties
    • Planetary formation
    • Planetary rings

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science

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