Experimental study on collisional disruption of highly porous icy bodies

Yuri Shimaki, Masahiko Arakawa

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Knowing the collisional process among small porous icy bodies in the outer solar system is a key to understanding the formation of EKBOs and the evolution of icy planetesimals. Impact experiments of sintered porous ice spheres with 40%, 50%, 60% and 70% porosity were conducted by using three types of projectiles at the impact velocity from 2.4 to 489. m/s, and we studied the effects of porosity on the collisional processes. Projectile sticking occurred at the impact velocity higher than 44. m/s for 60% porosity targets and higher than 13. m/s for 70% porosity targets. The antipodal velocity of the porous ice target increased with the increase of energy density, Q, and it increased slightly with the increase of porosity, although it was exceptionally high in cases when the projectile penetrated the target. The shattering strength of porous ice targets was found to decrease from 100 to 31. J/kg with the increase of porosity from 40% to 70%. The cumulative fragment mass distribution was found to depend on the energy density and the target porosity, and the slopes of the distribution in the small fragment region were almost flat for more porous targets. We reanalyzed the cumulative fragment mass distribution and first obtained the empirical equation showing the fragment mass distribution of porous ice targets as a function of the energy density and the porosity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)737-750
    Number of pages14
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


    • Collisional physics
    • Comets
    • Ices
    • Impact processes
    • Planetesimals

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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