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Collapsing Cliff Reveals Interior of Rosetta’s Comet

ESA March 21, 2017 Rosetta scientists have made the first compelling link between an outburst of dust and gas and the collapse of a prominent cliff, which also exposed the pristine, icy interior of the comet. Sudden and short-lived outbursts were observed frequently during Rosetta’s two-year mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Although their exact trigger has been much debated, the outbursts ... Read More »

Comet Jets Are Coming From Large Sinkholes

ESA July 1, 2015 A number of the dust jets emerging from Rosetta’s comet can be traced back to active pits that were likely formed by a sudden collapse of the surface. These ‘sinkholes’ are providing a glimpse at the chaotic and diverse interior of the comet. Rosetta has been monitoring Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s activity for over a year, watching how ... Read More »

Rosetta’s Comet Reveals Its Secrets

ESA January 22, 2015 Rosetta is revealing its host comet as having a remarkable array of surface features and with many processes contributing to its activity, painting a complex picture of its evolution. In a special edition of the journal Science, initial results are presented from seven of Rosetta’s 11 science instruments based on measurements made during the approach to ... Read More »

Philae Lander Shuts Down After Completing Mission

ESA November 15, 2014 Rosetta’s lander has completed its primary science mission after nearly 57 hours on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. After being out of communication visibility with the lander since 09:58 GMT / 10:58 CET on Friday, Rosetta regained contact with Philae at 22:19 GMT /23:19 CET last night. The signal was initially intermittent, but quickly stabilised and remained very good ... Read More »

Candidate Landing Sites for Philae Lander Chosen

NASA JPL August 25, 2014 The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has chosen five candidate landing sites on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for its Philae lander. Philae’s descent to the comet’s nucleus, scheduled for this November, will be the first such landing ever attempted. Rosetta is an international mission spearheaded by the European Space Agency with support and instruments provided by NASA. ... Read More »

Rosetta is Closing in on the Comet

NASA JPL July 31, 2014 Less than a week before Rosetta’s rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, images obtained by OSIRIS, the spacecraft’s onboard scientific imaging system, show clear signs of a coma surrounding the comet’s nucleus. A new image from July 25, 2014, clearly reveals an extended coma shrouding 67P’s nucleus. “Our coma images cover an area of 150 by 150 ... Read More »

Rosetta’s Comet Outgassing 2 Glasses of Water Per Second

ESA June 30, 2014 ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has found that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second, even at a cold 583 million kilometres from the Sun. The first observations of water vapour streaming from the comet were made by the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter, or MIRO, on 6 June, ... Read More »

Rosetta Spacecraft Sees Its Destination Comet

ESA March 27, 2014 ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has caught a first glimpse of its destination comet since waking up from deep-space hibernation on 20 January. These two ‘first light’ images were taken on 20 and 21 March by the OSIRIS wide-angle camera and narrow-angle camera, as part of six weeks of activities dedicated to preparing the spacecraft’s science instruments for ... Read More »

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