Philae Blog | 24. July 2014 | posted by Elke Heinemann

Closing in on Rosetta's target comet

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

A model of the comet's shape, based on the images acquired on 14 July 2014.

Surface structures are becoming visible in new images of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. These images, with a resolution of 100 metres per pixel, were acquired with the OSIRIS scientific imaging system on board Rosetta. The comet's neck region – the section connecting the two heads – seems to be much brighter than the head and body of the nucleus.##markend##   

Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
This image of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was taken on 20 July 2014 by the OSIRIS camera system on board the Rosetta spacecraft.

Images acquired recently have shown that the comet may consist of two interconnected parts: a smaller 'head' and a larger 'body'. The latest images show the neck connecting the two sections. It is particularly interesting for the scientists because it appears brighter than the rest of the comet. Possible reasons for this could be differences in the surface composition or the structure of the surface material.

ESA's Rosetta spacecraft will reach the comet on 6 August 2014 and the Philae lander is scheduled to land on the comet's surface in November.

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About the author

Elke Heinemann has been an editor for the DLR web portal since 2003. She has been responsible for the developmen of special sites for missions, such as the Rosetta mission, the International Space Station and Mars Express, for the web portal. to authorpage

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