Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta's Target Comet
Posted on 05/23/2014 1:23:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Explanation: The Rosetta spacecraft captured this remarkable series of 9 frames between March 27 and May 4, as it closed from 5 million to 2 million kilometers of its target comet. Cruising along a 6.5 year orbit toward closest approach to the Sun next year, periodic comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is seen moving past a distant background of stars in Ophiuchus and globular star cluster M107. The comet's developing coma is actually visible by the end of the sequence, extending for some 1300 km into space. Rosetta is scheduled for an early August rendezvous with the comet's nucleus. Now clearly active, the nucleus is about 4 kilometers in diameter, releasing the dusty coma as its dirty ices begin to sublimate in the sunlight. The Rosetta lander's contact with the surface of the nucleus is anticipated in November.
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[Credit: ESA / Rosetta / MPS OSIRIS Team]
What's next? Rosetta's Hooters' Comet? Rosetta's Sam's Club Comet? Rosetta's GEICO Comet?
‘Not sure whether it’s the old eyes, a video artifact of the clip or the movement of actual objects, but as the frames progress I’m seeing “blips” appearing & disappearing in the image primarily in the lower right-hand quadrant. Curious...
Or maybe "20th Century Motors" Comet.
Who do you like to pay for your science?
Nothing of consequence, just ET commuters. The Vatican will baptize them when they settle in here.
The Rosetta lander's contact with the surface of the nucleus is anticipated in November.
They call it that because it’s easier than spell-checking or pronouncing “Churyumov-Gerasimenko.”
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