Edit: Initially, the title was How does the crumbling sound?

I am curious how comets degradate or even disintegrate over time, in particular while they are close enough to the Sun to have tails. Is there some theory on that somebody can point me to? Would modeling it with some exponential decay with a constant decay constant for the times in the inner solar system make sense?

What does that have to do with sound? Well, I assume all forces will not be acting homogeneously on the "dirty snowball" and will therefore induce some phonons. I am optimistic that one can transpose these excitations into accoustic samples, at least I have heard that for other vibrating objects (pun intended) that vibrations modes outside the range of the human ear have been octaved down or up so that we can listen to them. I am also curious about these vibrations and how they contribute to the decay of the comet core.


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    $\begingroup$ I've done a cursory check of probes that landed on comets & asteroids but haven't seen a microphone being listed as part of the instruments. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jul 2 '21 at 8:33
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    $\begingroup$ A seismometer would also be sufficient... I am actually interested more in theoretical comet models, I guess. $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Jul 2 '21 at 8:56
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    $\begingroup$ This is an interesting question; there are several forces present; adhesion, gravity, internal pressure all with high spatial gradients, and the heat deposited by the Sun stirs them up and things then move around, material is volatilized and gas expands, maybe "jets" of it escape. If people actually try to model this in real, 3D physical "rubble pile" models, then there might be vibrations within each "lump" and some lump-to-lump acoustic coupling modeled. "What are the most advanced models for cometary structure and dynamics when they pass near the Sun" might be a good related question. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 3 '21 at 0:04
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    $\begingroup$ Or simply "If I could sit on a comet near the Sun with some cameras and sound/vibration monitoring equipment, what would it look/sound/feel/be like? Are there any detailed modeling efforts that might address this?" $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jul 3 '21 at 0:08
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Thanks for rephrasing. I guess I was too fascinated by the my initial catchy title. What I am after is much like the standard stellar model - but for comets. I am looking for the simplest model which involves all major effects but this of would require me to know what the most important effects were. $\endgroup$
    – B--rian
    Jul 5 '21 at 20:46

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