News

Mars probes will hide from comet dust

17 October 2014 Keith Cooper

This Sunday, a comet will come closer to Mars than any other comet has ever been seen to approach a planet without actually hitting it, sending our assorted spacecraft orbiting the red planet running for cover.

News

Mars versus the comet

17 October 2014 Keith Cooper

A flotilla of spacecraft orbiting Mars will be turning their instruments in two directions – one towards Comet Siding Spring, and the other towards Mars itself, to find out what happens when a planetary atmosphere brushes against the fuzzy atmosphere of a comet.

Picture This

Rosetta captures a ‘selfie’ with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

15 October 2014 Astronomy Now

The camera on Rosetta’s Philae lander has snapped a ‘selfie’ with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in the distance about 16 km away. The image was taken on 7 October and also captures the side of the Rosetta spacecraft and one of the 14 metre-long solar wings. Two images with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details in this very high contrast situation. The comet’s active ‘neck’ region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface. Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA.