Keyword: comet

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  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- The Cliffs of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko

    12/24/2014 5:24:51 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | December 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: These high cliffs occur on the surface of a comet. They were discovered to be part of the dark nucleus of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko (CG) by Rosetta, a robotic spacecraft launched by ESA which began orbiting the comet in early August. The ragged cliffs, as featured here, were imaged by Rosetta about two weeks ago. Although towering about one kilometer high, the low surface gravity of Comet CG would likely make a jump from the cliffs, by a human, survivable. At the foot of the cliffs is relatively smooth terrain dotted with boulders as large as 20 meters across. Data...
  • The apocalyptic prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen, the next Doctor of the Church [Catholic Caucus]

    12/18/2011 10:50:36 PM PST · by Brian Kopp DPM · 28 replies
    summorumpontificum.net ^ | 12/19/2011 | Brian Kopp
    Monday, December 19, 2011 The apocalyptic prophecies of Hildegard of Bingen, the next Doctor of the ChurchBy Brian Kopp Earlier this fall, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Venerable Elena Aiello, bringing to light her little known prophecies, which have strong parallels to those of both Our Lady of Akita as well as statements Pope JPII and Cardinal Ratzinger made in the past regarding the Third Secret of Fatima. (See this earlier blog post for a summary of the parallels: For fourth anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Pope draws attention to little known prophecies of Venerable Elena Aiello) Now, Pope Benedict XVI is...
  • A Stunning Look at the Cliffs of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    12/16/2014 3:18:00 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 21 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on December 16, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson
    Images from space don’t get more dramatic than this. Image processing wizard Stuart Atkinson zoomed in on one of the most intriguing views yet of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, highlighting the contrasts of dark and light, smooth and rugged, soft contours and frighteningly vertical cliffs.
  • We're Running Out of the Nuclear Fuel That Powers Space Travel

    12/02/2014 7:57:35 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 13 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | December 2, 2014 | Sarah Zhang
    Rosetta's lander lasted just 60 hours on a comet after it bounced into the dark shadows of a cliff, where its solar panels couldn't power the vehicle. Why didn't it carry a more reliable power source, say a nuclear battery like one that's unfailingly fueled Voyager for decades? It's a simple question with a fascinating answer, one that begins with the Cold War and ends with the future space exploration. When it comes to space travel, plutonium-238 is the perfect fuel: long-lasting and, as I'll explain later, relatively safe. Without it, we have no hope of going much further than...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 3D 67P

    11/29/2014 4:07:38 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 9 replies
    NASA ^ | November 29, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Get out your red/blue glasses and float next to a comet! The Rosetta mission lander Philae's ROLIS camera snapped the two frames used to create this stereo anaglyph for 3D viewing during its November 12 descent to the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet's curious double lobed nucleus is seen nearly end on from a distance of about 3 kilometers, about 1 hour before Philae arrived at the surface. Philae's initial landing site is near the center of the front facing lobe. Part of a landing gear foot cuts across the upper right corner, in the close foreground of...
  • Jet! Rosetta’s Comet Is Feeling The Heat As Gas and Dust Erupts From Surface

    As the European Space Agency scurries to find the final resting place of the Philae lander, Rosetta continues normal operations above the comet and will keep tracking it through 2015. Rosetta is the first orbiter to stick around near a comet, which will allow scientists an unprecedented chance to see a comet change from up close as the Sun’s heat and particles affect it. Could there be an atmosphere starting up? “At the bottom of the mosaic, the non-illuminated part of the comet stands out as a silhouette against the broader diffuse emission coming from the comet’s coma,” ESA stated....
  • No ‘Rubber Duckie’! Rosetta’s Comet Looks Weird In Decade-Old Hubble Model

    11/18/2014 10:14:06 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 7 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on November 18, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    This Hubble Space Telescope model from 2003 shows us why. From afar, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a tiny object to image, even for the NASA probe’s powerful lens. Back then, the telescope was tasked with examining the comet to look at its size and shape to better design the Philae lander spacecraft. And the model reveals no duckie; it looks more like a sombrero from some angles. The main concern of scientists back then was redirecting Rosetta to a new target when its original comet (46P/Wirtanen) fell out of reach due to a launch delay. 67P was bigger and had a...
  • Philae Lander Early Science Results: Ice, Organic Molecules and Half a Foot of Dust

    11/18/2014 2:42:31 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 58 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | November 18, 2014 | Bob King
    With just 60 hours of battery power, the lander drilled, hammered and gathered science data on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko before going into hibernation. Despite appearances, the comet’s hard as ice. The team responsible for the MUPUS (Multi-Purpose Sensors for Surface and Sub-Surface Science) instrument hammered a probe as hard as they could into 67P’s skin but only dug in a few millimeters: “Although the power of the hammer was gradually increased, we were not able to go deep into the surface,” said Tilman Spohn ... “If we compare the data with laboratory measurements, we think that the probe...
  • Alone and Confused, Philae Breaks our Hearts [laughably maudlin Millenials]

    11/16/2014 8:49:02 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 26 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on November 16, 2014 | Morgan Rehnberg
    I was thirteen years old when Columbia disintegrated. Space exploration was not even a particular interest of mine at the time, but I remember exactly where I was when the news came. My dad and I were sitting in the living room of my childhood home, listening to NPR. I don’t really recall how I felt when they broke into our program with the news, but I remember well the two emotions that seemed to permeate the coverage that soon become constant: confusion and sadness. As I watched the almost surreal saga of ESA’s Philae this week, I found my...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Leonids Above Torre de la Guaita [1999]

    11/16/2014 3:33:42 AM PST · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | November 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Leonids Meteor Shower came to an impressive crescendo in 1999. Observers in Europe saw a sharp peak in the number of meteors visible around 0210 UTC during the early morning hours of November 18. Meteor counts then exceeded 1000 per hour - the minimum needed to define a true meteor storm. At other times and from other locations around the world, observers typically reported respectable rates of between 30 and 100 meteors per hour. This photograph is a 20-minute exposure ending just before the main Leonids peak began. Visible are at least five Leonid meteors streaking high above the...
  • 5 Reasons “feminists” can’t complain about comet scientist’s “sexist” shirt

    11/15/2014 5:16:44 AM PST · by Perdogg · 38 replies
    Yesterday, mankind achieved something seriously amazing: we landed a space probe on a comet millions of miles away from Earth. Unfortunately for the scientists involved in this momentous accomplishment, modern day “feminists” exist. One of the scientists was wearing a shirt covered in sketches of of scantily clad women. Not actual photos of women, but sketched images of pin ups in skivvies. So this chick from The Atlantic does what “feminists” do when encountering the inane: she lost her damn mind. Naturally, this scientist’s wardrobe selection means women are not welcome to participate in scientific oriented fields…
  • Forget skunks. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko smells like of horse urine, vinegar, rotten eggs

    11/15/2014 1:28:14 AM PST · by Swordmaker · 30 replies
    Tech Times ^ | October 25, 2014 | By Rhodi Lee,
    ROSINA, the mass spectrometer aboard the Rosetta spacecraft gives scientists an idea how comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko smells like: it stinks. (Photo : ESA - C. Carreau/ATG medialab) Given its distance from the Earth, it seems far-fetched to have an idea what comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the target comet of the Rosetta mission, smells like. The Rosetta spacecraft of the European Space Agency has so far hinted scientists on how the comet looks like but it appears that the robotic space probe isn't just equipped to take images. It also has an instrument on board that can give scientists clues on what the comet...
  • Rosetta scientist Dr Matt Taylor apologises for ‘offensive’ shirt

    11/15/2014 1:56:04 AM PST · by Berlin_Freeper · 35 replies
    theguardian.com ^ | 14 November 2014 | James Meikle
    Dr Matt Taylor, the British scientist involved in the Rosetta mission, cries as he makes an apology for wearing an ‘offensive’ shirt.
  • Concerns over ESA’s Data Release Policy Amidst Rosetta Comet Landing

    11/14/2014 11:09:11 AM PST · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | on November 14, 2014 | Matt Williams
    Unfortunately for millions of space enthusiasts around the world, none of these exciting images were released to the public. In addition, much of the images taken of the comet over the past few months as Rosetta closed in on it have similarly not been released. This has led to demands for more openness, which in turn has focused attention on ESA’s image and data release policy. Allowing scientists to withhold data for some period of time is not uncommon in planetary science. According to Jim Green, the director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, a 6-month grace period is typical for...
  • Comet lander: Future of Philae probe 'uncertain'

    11/14/2014 9:43:11 AM PST · by Red Badger · 20 replies
    BBC ^ | 14 November 2014 Last updated at 08:39 ET | By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News
    The Philae lander has attempted to drill into the surface of Comet 67P, amid fears that its battery may die within hours. The European Space Agency (Esa) says the instrument is being deployed to its maximum extent, despite the risk of toppling the lander. Scientists hope the tool will be able to capture some samples for analysis in the robot's onboard laboratories. If the battery dies, the results may not make it back to Earth. It is not known precisely where on the comet Philae is located, but the pictures it has returned indicate it is in the shadow of...
  • Rosetta: Battery will limit life of Philae comet lander (Houston, We Have NO Sunshine!!!)

    11/13/2014 4:56:14 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 59 replies
    BBC News ^ | 11/13/14 | Jonathan Amos
    After a historic but awkward comet landing, the robot probe Philae is now stable and sending pictures - but there are concerns about its battery life. The lander bounced twice, initially about 1km back out into space, before settling in the shadow of a cliff, 1km from its intended target site. It may now be problematic to get enough sunlight to charge its battery systems. -- The key issue vexing controllers right now is the lighting conditions. Philae is receiving about 1.5 hours of illumination during every 12-hour rotation of the comet. This will be insufficient to top up its...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Descent to a Comet

    11/13/2014 2:43:12 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 24 replies
    NASA ^ | November 13, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Yesterday, the first soft landing on a comet took place some 500 million kilometers from planet Earth as the Rosetta mission lander Philae settled on the nucleus of C67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The landing site, dubbed Agilkia, is located near the center of this remarkable image snapped by Philae's ROLIS (ROsetta Lander Imaging System) camera. Taken from a distance of about 3 kilometers the image has a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel at the surface. After Philae's release from the orbiter, its seven-hour long descent was made without propulsion or guidance. Following its descent the lander is in place,...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Philae Attempts Comet Nucleus Landing

    11/13/2014 2:40:03 PM PST · by SunkenCiv · 11 replies
    NASA ^ | November 12, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Today humanity will make its first attempt to land a probe on the nucleus of a comet. As the day progresses, the Philae (fee-LAY) lander will separate from the Rosetta spacecraft and head down to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Since the texture of the comet's surface is unknown and its surface gravity is surely low, Philae will then attempt to harpoon itself down, something that has never been done before. Featured here is an artist's illustration of dishwasher-sized Philae as it might look on Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko's surface, along with explanation balloons detailing onboard scientific instruments. Many people on...
  • Is comet probe doomed? First picture from surface shows Philae has landed on its side in DARKNESS

    11/13/2014 5:49:54 AM PST · by C19fan · 41 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | November 13, 3014 | Jonathan O'Callaghan and Ellie Zolfagharifard and Rachel Reilly and Mark Prigg
    Scientists face a desperate race against time after it was confirmed that the Rosetta probe Philae is stuck on its side on comet 67P with two legs on the ground and one stuck in the air. In a press conference Esa has revealed they aren't quite sure where Philae is on the surface but it is thought to have either fallen into a cave or next to a cliff in darkness based on images returned from the surface. With limited access to sunlight, and only a maximum of 30 hours of charge in its battery, European scientists must now attempt...
  • WELCOME TO A COMET (High Resolution Image)

    11/13/2014 2:35:37 AM PST · by lbryce · 60 replies
    ESA ^ | November 12, 2014 | Staff
    HIGH RESOLUTION IMAGE DETAILS Title Welcome to a comet Released 13/11/2014 10:39 am Copyright ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA DescriptionRosetta’s lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic. The full panoramicfrom CIVA will be delivered in this afternoon’s press briefing at 13:00 GMT/14:00 CET.
  • Philae’s First Photos; Update On Its Troubled Landing

    11/13/2014 12:51:04 AM PST · by zeestephen · 8 replies
    Universe Today ^ | 12 November 2014 | Bob King
    We reported earlier that both the harpoons and top thrusters failed to fire and anchor the lander to the comet...Philae, without its anchors, may have touched the surface and then lifted off again...Telemetry from the probe has been sporadic. Data streams come in strong and then suddenly cut out only to return later...
  • Philae probe reaches comet, makes space history

    11/12/2014 8:30:03 AM PST · by Olog-hai · 20 replies
    Fox News ^ | November 12, 2014 | James Rogers
    The European Space Agency’s Philae lander has made space history by successfully reaching the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The landing, which took place at 11.03 AM ET, was accompanied by rapturous scenes at the ESA’s control room in Darmstadt, Germany. Philae is the first probe to land on a comet. …
  • Unmanned spacecraft successfully lands on comet (video)

    11/12/2014 8:29:47 AM PST · by servo1969 · 59 replies
    FoxNews.com ^ | 11-12-2014 | FoxNews.com
    BREAKING NEWS: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY'S TINY PHILAE LANDER (inset within artist's conception) makes history, landing on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko billions of miles away and traveling at speeds of up to 84,000 mph.
  • [VANITY] Philae about to land on Rosetta

    11/12/2014 7:28:33 AM PST · by ShadowAce · 43 replies
    NASA ^ | 12 November 2014 | NASA
    Link to live TV feed
  • Europe ready to land 1st probe on streaking comet

    11/12/2014 6:21:31 AM PST · by Fester Chugabrew · 41 replies
    AP ^ | Nov. 11, 2014 12:19 PM ET | Frank Jordans
    BERLIN (AP) — How do you land a spacecraft on a comet that is streaking by at 41,000 mph (66,000 kph)? That's a problem scientists have been grappling with for more than a decade as they prepare for one of the most audacious space adventures ever — the European Space Agency's attempt to land a scientific probe on the giant ball of ice and dust known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
  • The Surface of Comet 67P/C-G From the Rosetta Probe

    10/26/2014 7:34:08 AM PDT · by Dallas59 · 21 replies
    Imgur ^ | 10/25/2014 | Imgur
    For scale
  • MRO Spies Tiny, Bright Nucleus During Comet Flyby

    10/20/2014 7:46:15 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 5 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 20, 2014 | Bob King do not say on
    Not to be outdone by the feisty Opportunity Rover, the HiRISE camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) turned in its homework this evening with a fine image of comet C/2013 Siding Spring taken during closest approach on October 19. ... To photograph a fast-moving target from orbit, engineers at Lockheed-Martin in Denver precisely pointed and slewed the spacecraft based on comet position calculations by engineers at JPL. To make sure they knew exactly where the comet was, the team photographed the comet 12 days in advance when it was barely bright enough to register above the detector’s noise level....
  • Rosetta’s Comet Springs Spectacular Leaks As It Gets Closer To The Sun

    10/23/2014 1:23:11 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 15 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | October 23, 2014 | Elizabeth Howell
    The comet that the Rosetta spacecraft is visiting is shedding more dust as machine and Solar System body get closer to the Sun. While activity was first seen at the “neck” of the rubber-duckie shaped comet a few weeks ago, now scientists are seeing jets spring from across the comet. This is just one signal of cometary activity picking up as 67P gets closer to the Sun. For the moment, it appears the prime landing site is still safe enough for Philae to land on Nov. 19, officials said, while noting there is a jet about a kilometer away that...
  • Comet Flies By Mars Today in Rare Encounter: Watch It Online

    10/19/2014 9:23:08 AM PDT · by messierhunter · 15 replies
    Space.com ^ | 10/19/14 | Miriam Kramer
    A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system is due to give Mars a close shave on Sunday (Oct. 19), and you can watch the flyby live online. While Comet Siding Spring (also called Comet C/2013 A1) isn't easy to spot from Earth, a couple different astronomy organizations will be tracking the comet as it flies 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) from Mars at 2:27 p.m. EDT (1827 GMT) on Sunday. The comet will fly three times closer to Mars than the moon is to Earth.
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta's Selfie

    10/16/2014 5:33:20 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 14 replies
    NASA ^ | October 16, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: This Rosetta spacecraft selfie was snapped on October 7th. At the time the spacecraft was about 472 million kilometers from planet Earth, but only 16 kilometers from the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Looming beyond the spacecraft near the top of the frame, dust and gas stream away from the comet's curious double-lobed nucleus and bright sunlight glints off one of Rosetta's 14 meter long solar arrays. In fact, two exposures, one short and one long, were combined to record the dramatic high contrast scene using the CIVA camera system on Rosetta's still-attached Philae lander. Its chosen primary landing site...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- 62 Kilometers above Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    09/14/2014 10:40:53 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 15 replies
    NASA ^ | September 15, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Spacecraft Rosetta continues to approach, circle, and map Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Crossing the inner Solar System for ten years to reach the vicinity of the comet last month, the robotic spacecraft continues to image the unusual double-lobed comet nucleus. The reconstructed-color image featured, taken about 10 days ago, indicates how dark this comet nucleus is. On the average, the comet's surface reflects only about four percent of impinging visible light, making it as dark as coal. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko spans about four kilometers in length and has a surface gravity so low that an astronaut could jump off of it. In...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Cloud, Clusters and

    09/04/2014 4:37:42 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | September 04, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On October 19th, a good place to watch Comet Siding Spring will be from Mars. Then, this inbound visitor (C/2013 A1) to the inner solar system, discovered in January 2013 by Robert McNaught at Australia's Siding Spring Observatory, will pass within 132,000 kilometers of the Red Planet. That's a near miss, equivalent to just over 1/3 the Earth-Moon distance. Great views of the comet for denizens of planet Earth's southern hemisphere are possible now, though. This telescopic snapshot from August 29 captured the comet's whitish coma and arcing dust tail sweeping through southern skies. The fabulous field of view...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Contrasting Terrains on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/23/2014 7:58:55 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 21 replies
    NASA ^ | August 19, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Where should Philae land? As ESA's robotic spacecraft Rosetta circles toward Comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a decision must eventually be made as to where its mechanical lander should attempt to touch-down. Reaching the comet earlier this month, Rosetta is sending back detailed pictures of the comet's unusual nucleus from which a smooth landing site will be selected. Pictured above, near the image top, the head of the comet's nucleus shows rugged grooves, while near the image bottom, the body shows a patch-work of areas sometimes separated by jagged hills. Some of the patch-work areas apparent on both the head and...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta Approaches Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/11/2014 7:28:57 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 11, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: What does it look like to approach a comet? Early this month humanity received a new rendition as the robotic Rosetta spacecraft went right up to -- and began orbiting -- the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This approach turned out to be particularly fascinating because the comet nucleus first revealed itself to have an unexpected double structure, and later showed off an unusual and craggily surface. The above 101-frame time-lapse video details the approach of the spacecraft from August 1 through August 6. The icy comet's core is the size of a mountain and rotates every 12.7 hours. Rosetta's...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta's Rendezvous

    08/09/2014 2:32:21 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | August 07, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: On August 3rd, the Rosetta spacecraft's narrow angle camera captured this stunning image of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After 10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers of travel along gravity assist trajectories looping through interplanetary space, Rosetta had approached to within 285 kilometers of its target. The curious double-lobed shape of the nucleus is revealed in amazing detail at an image resolution of 5.3 meters per pixel. About 4 kilometers across, the comet nucleus is presently just over 400 million kilometers from Earth, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars. Now the first spacecraft to achieve a delicate orbit...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Rosetta's Target Comet

    05/23/2014 1:23:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 7 replies
    NASA ^ | May 23, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    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...
  • How Big is Rosetta’s Comet?

    07/04/2014 4:47:19 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 27 replies
    Universe Today via Phys.org ^ | Thursday, July 03, 2014 | Jason Major
    ...while it's one thing to say that the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is about three by five kilometers in diameter, it's quite another to see it in context with more familiar objects. Think about it—a comet as tall as Mt Fuji! At the time of this writing Rosetta is 35 days out on approach to Comet 67P/C-G, at a distance of about 51,000 km (31,700 miles) and closing. Three "big burn" maneuvers have already been performed between May 7 and June 4 to adjust the spacecraft's course toward the incoming comet, and after smaller ones on June 18 and July...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day -- Spacecraft Rosetta Shows Comet has Two Components

    07/21/2014 8:58:06 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 6 replies
    NASA ^ | July 21, 2014 | (see photo credit)
    Explanation: Why does this comet's nucleus have two components? The surprising discovery that Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has a double nucleus came late last week as ESA's robotic interplanetary spacecraft Rosetta continued its approach toward the ancient comet's core. Speculative ideas on how the double core was created include, currently, that Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko is actually the result of the merger of two comets, that the comet is a loose pile of rubble pulled apart by tidal forces, that ice evaporation on the comet has been asymmetric, or that the comet has undergone some sort of explosive event. Pictured above, the comet's unusual...
  • Getting to Know Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/03/2014 10:17:36 AM PDT · by BenLurkin · 8 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 3, 2014 | Bob King
    For all the wonder that comets evoke, we on Earth never see directly what whips up the coma and tail. Even professional telescopes can’t burrow through the dust and vapor cloaking the nucleus to distinguish the clear outline of a comet’s heart. The only way to see one is to fly a camera there. Rosetta took 10 years to reach 67P/C-G, a craggy, boot-shaped body that resembles an asteroid in appearance but with key differences. Asteroids shown in close up photos often display typical bowl-shaped impact craters. From the photos to date, 67P/C-G’s ‘craters’ look shallow and flat in comparison...
  • Rosetta's crazy insertion maneuvers to get into orbit about comet 67P (animation)

    08/08/2014 11:46:03 AM PDT · by LibWhacker · 26 replies
  • Stunning [sic] Images from Rosetta Show Closeup Views of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    08/06/2014 2:53:27 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | August 6, 2014 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Rosetta has arrived! After traveling more than ten years, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft reached comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. These most recent images shared from the Rosetta team were obtained from a distance of 285 kilometers above 67P’s surface, and scientists say they surpass all pictures taken from earlier space missions of cometary surfaces. Visible are steep slopes and precipices, sharp-edged rock structure, prominent pits, and smooth, wide plains. “It’s incredible how full of variation this surface is,” said Holger Sierks, the principal investigator of the OSIRIS imaging system on Rosetta. “We have never seen anything like this before in such great detail. “Today,...
  • Europe's Rosetta Spacecraft Makes Historic Arrival at Comet

    08/06/2014 9:37:08 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 80 replies
    www.space.com ^ | August 06, 2014 06:00am ET | By Miriam Kramer, Staff Writer
    After a decade in space and 4 billion miles, Europe's Rosetta spacecraft has made history: For the first time ever, a robotic probe from Earth is flying with a comet and will soon enter orbit. The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its target, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, today (Aug. 6) to end a 10-year journey across the solar system. The spacecraft performed an engine burn that brought it about 62 miles (100 kilometers) from the comet's surface. Comet 67P/C-G and Rosetta are now flying about 251 million miles (450 million kilometers) from Earth. Engineers on the ground had to program...
  • New Image of Rosetta’s Comet Reveals So Much More

    07/31/2014 12:11:24 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 10 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 31, 2014 | Jason Major
    This is no computer-generated shape model, this is the real deal: the double-lobed nucleus of Comet 67P/C-G, as imaged by Rosetta’s OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) narrow-angle camera on Tuesday, July 29. At the time just about a week away from making its arrival, ESA’s spacecraft was 1,950 km (1,211 miles) from the comet when this image was taken. (That’s about the distance between Providence, Rhode Island and Miami, Florida… This latest image reveals some actual surface features of the 4-km-wide comet, from a few troughs and mounds to the previously-noted bright band around the “neck” connecting...
  • Rosetta spacecraft sees possible 'double' comet

    07/17/2014 4:55:29 PM PDT · by cripplecreek · 23 replies
    Sciencenews.org ^ | July 17, 2014 | Ashley Yeager
    The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko may actually be two objects stitched together. New images from ESA's Rosetta spacecraft show an odd constriction near the middle of the comet, suggesting that two clumps of matter may have merged in what scientists call a contact binary. The conclusions are preliminary, as Rosetta was still roughly 12,000 kilometers away from the comet when the images were taken. The comet could also have had a more regular single shape with parts carved out through impacts or ice melting as the object circled the sun, mission scientists say. They will have more details about the comet's...
  • Comet Jacques Is Back! Joins Venus and Mercury at Dawn

    07/12/2014 12:21:23 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 9 replies
    universetoday.com ^ | July 12, 2014 | Bob King on
    Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques has returned! Before it disappeared in the solar glow this spring, the comet reached magnitude +6, the naked eye limit. Now it’s back at dawn, rising higher each morning as it treks toward darker skies. Just days after its July 2 perihelion, the fuzzball will be in conjunction with the planet Venus tomorrow morning July 13. With Mercury nearby, you may have the chance to see this celestial ‘Rat Pack’ tucked within a 8° circle.
  • Earth to experience a never-before-seen meteor shower next week

    05/19/2014 2:50:40 AM PDT · by Berlin_Freeper · 32 replies
    dailydigestnews.com ^ | May 18, 2014 | Daily Digest News
    Astronomers are predicting the astronomical event of a lifetime next week. On 24 May 2014, Earth will pass through the debris tail of Comet 209P/LINEAR, which will unleash a myriad of cosmic explosions lighting up the night sky. This will be the first time Earth has ever experienced this particular meteor shower. A meteor shower happens when the Earth passes through debris left in space by a comet; the chunks of rock, ice and other materials, burn up in the atmosphere to form ‘shooting’ or ‘falling stars’.
  • Tunguska, A Century Later

    06/09/2008 12:44:01 PM PDT · by blam · 49 replies · 633+ views
    Science News ^ | 6-5-2008 | Sid Perkins
    Tunguska, a century later By Sid PerkinsJune 5th, 2008 Asteroid or comet blamed for Siberian blast of 1908BLAST FROM THE PASTThe Tunguska blast shook Siberia in 1908, but on-site investigations were delayed for two decades. One of the first photos showed a large area of flattened trees.Early on the morning of June 30, 1908, a massive explosion shook central Siberia. Witnesses told of a fireball that streaked in from the southeast and then detonated in the sky above the desolate, forested region. At the nearest trading post, about 70 kilometers away from the blast, people were reportedly knocked from their...
  • NEOWISE Spots a “Weirdo” Comet

    04/10/2014 1:07:22 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 17 replies
    Universe Today ^ | February 28, 2014 | Jason Major
    NASA’s NEOWISE mission — formerly known as just WISE — has identified the first comet of its new near-Earth object hunting career… and, according to mission scientists, it’s a “weirdo.” To date several new asteroids have already been found by NEOWISE, and on February 14, 2014, it spotted its first comet. “We are so pleased to have discovered this frozen visitor from the outermost reaches of our solar system,” said Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator at JPL. “This comet is a weirdo — it is in a retrograde orbit, meaning that it orbits the sun in the opposite sense from...
  • Newfound pink world lurks at solar system fringes

    03/26/2014 12:06:45 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 45 replies
    www.utsandiego.com ^ | 03-26-2014 | By ALICIA CHANG
    <p>LOS ANGELES (AP) — Peering into the far reaches of the solar system, astronomers have spied a pink frozen world 7½ billion miles from the sun.</p> <p>It's the second such object to be discovered in a region of space beyond Pluto long considered a celestial wasteland. Until now, the lone known resident in this part of the solar system was an oddball dwarf planet spotted in 2003 named Sedna after the mythological Inuit goddess who created the sea creatures of the Arctic.</p>
  • QUESTIONS: Comet 209P/LINEAR

    02/27/2014 5:19:00 PM PST · by Yosemitest · 107 replies
    many different sources | Feb 27, 2014 | Yosemitest
    John Bochanski wrote an article tilted The Next New Meteor Shower,Astronomers confirm that debris from Comet 209P/LINEAR should create a sky show on May 24, 2014 on November 12, 2013 that is one of the most detailed I've read so far. Here are some excerpts from it. "Most meteor showers ... occur when Earth plows into the debris trail left behind by a comet. The comet throws this debris off as itÂ’s heated by the Sun, but while all comets heat up as they enter the inner solar system, many do not have orbits that intersect with EarthÂ’s. ......