Rosetta’s first peek at comet 67P’s dark side

4 October 2015 Astronomy Now

Since its arrival at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in August 2014, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has been surveying the surface and the environment of this curiously shaped body. Now that the comet is experiencing a brief, hot southern hemisphere summer, its south polar regions have emerged from almost five years of total darkness and it has been possible to observe them with other Rosetta instruments.


How Rosetta’s comet got its shape

29 September 2015 Astronomy Now

The origin of of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s double-lobed form has been a key question since Rosetta first revealed its surprising shape in July 2014. By studying the layers of material seen all over the nucleus, scientists have shown that the shape arose from a low-speed collision between two fully fledged, separately formed comets.


OSIRIS discovers balancing rock on comet 67P

19 May 2015 Astronomy Now

Scientists from Rosetta’s OSIRIS team have discovered an extraordinary formation in the Aker region on the larger lobe of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The largest of a group of three boulders with a diameter of approximately 30 metres appears to perch on the rim of a small depression. There seems to be only a very small contact area with the nucleus.


Rosetta approaches comet 67P for a closer look

14 February 2015 Stephen Clark

The Rosetta spacecraft neared its comet Saturday, targeting a close flyby within six kilometres of the tiny world’s jagged nucleus to gain new up-close views of the comet and taste the growing vaporous cloud surrounding it.