Comet Surface Detail

Surface close-up of Comet 67P/G-C.  Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Surface close-up of Comet 67P/G-C. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

WOW! Look at that detail, one pixel equals 1.1 meters. Not exactly a ball of fuzz. This image is from the Rosetta blog’s “A PRELIMINARY MAP OF ROSETTA’S COMET” post. Rosetta Blog is getting busy — be sure to have a look.

The caption included on the Rosetta blog:

Jagged cliffs and prominent boulders are visible in this image taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, on 5 September 2014 from a distance of 62 kilometres from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The left part of the image shows a side view of the comet’s ‘body’, while the right is the back of its ‘head’. One pixel corresponds to 1.1 metres.

Comet Mosaic

Make a mosaic from Rosetta's comet pictures.   ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Make a mosaic from Rosetta’s comet pictures. ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

ESA’s Rosetta is now taking images from just 61 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. That is close enough so Rosetta is imaging the comet in about quarters.

The above four-image mosaic is featured at the Rosetta blog was taken on 31 August 2014. It’s really not quite a mosaic yet  If you look at the four-panels you will see some overlap. The images were made from 20 minute exposures and there is also some rotation from the mutual movement of Rosetta and comet.

We, the public are invited to create a mosaic from them. Rosetta Blog has the four individual frames on the page for downloading which I have done.  Just scroll down the page linked above to get the individual shots.

I have everything loaded into a imaging program and working on my mosiac. The rotation is creating quite a challange!

Give it a try. I’ll post my effort if I can get anywhere with it.

Philae Landing Sites

The five candidate landing sites for Philae. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The five candidate landing sites for Philae. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

ESA’s Landing Site Selection Group met over the past weekend and identified five possible landing sites for Rosetta’s Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Three of the sites are on the smaller lobe and two on the larger one.

The original ten candidate sites were all marked with a letter designation, A to J and the group was narrowed to five at the meeting (A, B, C, J, I). The letters are only for identification and do not denote any preference.

After a detailed review for physical hazards and even long term illumination are complete, a primary landing site will be selected on 14 September. A secondary site will also be selected at that time.

Personally (today and very subject to change) I like:

Site A
Site B
Site I
Site C
Site J

Cliffs on the Comet

Rosetta gets to 64 km from the comet. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM.

Rosetta gets to 64 km from the comet. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM.

Here is an image from Rosetta of comet 67P/G-C on 22 August. Rosetta has been in “pyramid” shaped orbits to observe and approach the comet to get the date needed to get even closer in time. Check out the Rosetta blog for a nice description.

The close points of the trianglular or pyramid orbit has gone from 79 km to orbits in the 50 km range. the image above from 54 km. In just a couple of weeks the orbits will be close the 30 km.

I particularly like this image. Aside from the already good and improving detail, it is a nice look down into the central area below the cliffs. What is that material at the base of the cliff? Why is it there? Did it come from the “cliffs” like a landslide?

Get a full-res version at ESA’s Comet Watch.

 

Two Lobes of a Comet

Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 18 August 2014 from a distance of about 84 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 18 August 2014 from a distance of about 84 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

The view of 67P/G-C or “the duck” as some are calling it. Rosetta was just 84 km away from the comet when this was taken.  Lobes, so much for comets to be nice round dirty snowballs.  Rosetta is redefining how a lot of us think about comets.

I just marvel at how good  this really is. Rosetta is orbiting comet 67/G-c about 412,000,000 km (~256 million miles) away from Earth and 527,000,000 km (~327 million miles) from the Sun and the comet is moving 15.7 km/s (35,120 mph). The numbers I show here are rounded and if you would like to see the actual numbers from ESA go the the very cool Where is Rosetta site and click on the Where is Rosetta today link at the bottom of the page. If you have not been at that site before you can watch the whole journey depicted in an animation – it’s really quite good.

There are a number of instruments on Rosetta and one of them, COSIMA is trying to capture dust particles coming from 67P. At the moment very little dust is coming from the comet so the plates used to catch the dust is being checked weekly during an initial exposure of a month. As the pair near the Sun more and more particles will be emitted.

One of the big questions is: what is this thing made of?  We will find out if things go as planned.  Yes, this IS going to be fun!

Rosetta blog

Rosetta Maps Comet

Where the Philae lander this coming November is a very important decision. ESA naturally wants to land in the spot where they are going to get to learn the most possible.

This is a great video for getting a feel for the mission and what it means:

For additional languages and video source – click here

Cliffs on a Comet

Rosetta gets a look at the central region of comet 67P/G-C. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta gets a look at the central region of comet 67P/G-C. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

And then some. Wow what a shot! The Rosetta spacecraft used the orange filter on the narrow-angle OSIRIS camera from 103 km / 64 miles away.

This particular image is part of an anaglyph and that is just stunning. This non-3D version is pretty good for those without the 3D glasses. If you do have a pair of glasses or can do what I did and use blue and red plastic wrap (blue on the right eye and red on the left), just WOW! I kept moving the screen to try and get a look over the edge.

You know, there’s a dozen good looking spots to put a lander. No pressure ESA :mrgreen:

See ESA’s 3D image here.

The Top of the Comet

Rosetta NAVCAM view of 67P/G-C on 11 Aug. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta NAVCAM view of 67P/G-C on 11 Aug. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

What a great look at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta. The view is from 102 km / 63 miles away on 11 Aug 2014.

If it (what I call the top) would just rotate a wee bit more we could get a look inside that crater on the end. Is there a central peak or any signs of melting in there? That would be composition dependent, good clues.

See a Hi Res version here.

Rosetta’s Latest

NAVCAM image of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 09 Aug. ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

NAVCAM image of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 09 Aug. ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Here’s the latest image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta (09 August 2014). Rosetta was about 99 km / 62 miles from the comet’s surface.

I wonder if anybody at ESA knew 67P/C-G was so complex?  I bet they didn’t plan on finding the best place to put the little Philae lander to be almost as difficult as getting there. :mrgreen:

Rosetta blog.

Landing on a Comet

As if getting Rosetta to comet 67 G-C and then successfully entering an orbit. ESA is going to land on the comet with the little Philae. I am waiting to hear where though.

Want to hear something kind of sad? Mind that I don’t watch much television, but I’ve not heard one mention of this mission here in the states on any of the main “news media” outlets. One of, if not the coolest missions in years and years and nothing, except for NASA TV but that doesn’t count.

Anyway, ESA/ATG medialab have created this extended version of Philae touchdown animation to include visualisations of some of the science experiments on on the lander.

The animation begins with the deployment of Philae from Rosetta at comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in November 2014. Rosetta will come to within about 10 km of the nucleus to deploy Philae, which will take several hours to reach the surface. Because of the comet’s extremely low gravity, landing gear will absorb the small forces of landing while ice screws in the probe’s feet and a harpoon system will lock the probe to the surface. At the same time a thruster on top of the lander will push it down to counteract the impulse of the harpoon imparted in the opposite direction. Once it is anchored to the comet, the lander will begin its primary science mission, based on its 64-hour initial battery lifetime. The animation then shows five of Philae’s 10 instruments in action: CIVA, ROLIS, SD2, MUPUS and APXS.

Rosetta’s Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.

Credit: ESA/ATG medialab