Making History

Just three days away.

This is Friday’s press conference with Rosetta mission experts hosted by Emily Baldwin, ESA space science editor / Rosetta Blog

The video is in distinct segments of about 15 minutes and questions at the end.

Introduction and mission plans fellowed by Science at 15 minutes, Landing at 30 minutes and Summary at 45 followed by questions.

Video link

Rosetta’s Comet


Wow, what a great view of a comet you can get from just 30 km (18.6 miles).

Click the image above for a larger version and enjoy the detail.

Caption via NASA:

This image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was obtained on October 30, 2014 by the OSIRIS scientific imaging system on the Rosetta spacecraft. The right half is obscured by darkness. The image was taken from a distance of approximately 18.6 miles (30 kilometers).
Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team


Four-image mosaic of Comet 67P/C-G on 30 October. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Four-image mosaic of Comet 67P/C-G on 30 October. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Landing “Site J” on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has a new name and that name is Agilkia.

From ESA

Agilkia is an island on the Nile River in the south of Egypt. A complex of Ancient Egyptian buildings, including the famous Temple of Isis, was moved to Agilkia from the island of Philae when the latter was flooded during the building of the Aswan dams in the 20th century.

Pretty good name I think and so do others, the name was proposed by 150 of the participants of public competition held by ESA and the German, French and Italian space agencies.

The image shows Agilkia in one of those four-part mosiacs ESA has been releasing. Very nice resolution panels so do check it out.  This is one of the last looks as Rosetta left the 10 km orbit to get ready to deploy Philae on 12 November.

Ambition – The Film

About the video from ESA (YouTube)

Ambition is a collaboration between Platige Image and ESA. Directed by Tomek Bagiński and starring Aiden Gillen and Aisling Franciosi, Ambition was shot on location in Iceland, and screened on 24 October 2014 during the British Film Institute’s celebration of Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder, at the Southbank, London.

More information.
Rosetta: the ambition to turn science fiction into science fact:…

Video Source (ESA)

Comet Dunes?

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from just 7.8 km away. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from just 7.8 km away. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Here is one panel of four images from the Rosetta spacecraft on 18 October when the spacecraft was only 7.8 km from the surface.

The image scale is about 92 cm per pixel according to the caption

The images here were taken about 20 minutes apart and the rotation is apparent, so Photoshop route of putting them together isn’t working out so good. Trying to accomplish the task of putting the four frames together is made more difficult because I am doing it on a laptop. I have a new plan: I am going to print each panel out and see if I can stick them together just for fun, if it works out I will print the frames out on photo paper and put everything on the wall.

You can see all four panels at the Cometwatch Blog you can see if you can put them together too.

I picked this particular image for a couple of reasons: check out the boulders. Seems like they should be rolling down the hill, that’s what having little gravity does for you.

The really interesting thing is towards the center of the image, are those dunes? If they are how did they form?

Rosetta Orbital Plans

A great ESA animation depicting Rosetta’s orbits and separation of the Philae lander.

On 12 November, Rosetta will move to 22.5 km from the comet and release Philae.

The lander will take about seven hours to get to the surface. In the meantime Rosetta will be maneuvered back to about 50 km from the comet so the lander stays visible. The lander communicates via Rosetta so the visibility is important. Eventually Rosetta’s orbit will be moved back to 20 km.

The actual rotation rate of the comet is 12.5 hours so yes the animation is sped up considerably – it does help the animation.

Video source (ESA)

Another Selfie from Rosetta

Rosetta selfie 16km from comet. Copyright ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Rosetta selfie 16km from comet. Copyright ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Very nice! This image was taken with the CIVA camera on the Philae lander which is of course still attached to ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft. Just wait until Philae sends pictures from the comet surface.

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is in the background about 16km away.

Check out the details at the Rosetta Blog.

There is a Hi-Res version at the ESA Space in Images site.

Boulder Cheops

A close-up of Boulder Cheops on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta.  Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A close-up of Boulder Cheops on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Wow another amazing image from ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft. Rosetta will be getting images from only 10 km very shortly even maybe by the end of day! Lowering the orbit is key in a very important phase of this amazing mission: in just over a month the Philae lander will be landing on comet 67P/G-C.

From ESA’s Space in Images:

This image of the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 19 September 2014, from a distance of 28.5 km.

The image features a large boulder casting a long shadow on the surface of the comet. The boulder has a maximum dimension of about 45 metres and is the largest structure within a group of boulders located on the lower side of the comet’s larger lobe. This cluster of boulders reminded scientists of the famous pyramids at Giza near Cairo in Egypt, and thus it has been named Cheops for the largest of those pyramids, the Great Pyramid, which was built as a tomb for the pharaoh Cheops (also known as Kheops or Khufu) around 2550 BC.

Rosetta blog

Philae Lander Deploy Date


The landing site for the Philae lander. Copyright ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

And that date is 12 November 08:35 UTC.

A Rosetta NAVCAM image of the landing site for the Philae lander from 27.8 km from the center of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

I made an attempt to mark the general landing spot in the above image, click the image.  Funny how the different perspective between this image and the one from posted here on 16 Sept. made the task a bit more tricky than I first thought.

It’s close anyway.

See this image at ESA’s Space in Images site they have higher resolution versions.  Give finding your way around on this image to the other and see how you do.

See the Rosetta blog for more detail.