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Closing in on Rosetta's target comet

Closing in on Rosetta's target comet

24 July 2014

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  • Neues Modell der Kometenform

    New Model of the comet's shape

    A new model of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's shape, based on the images acquired with the OSIRIS camera 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. 


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

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.

Last modified:
25/07/2014 14:05:29

Contacts

 

Elke Heinemann
Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR) - German Aerospace Center

Tel.: +49 2203 601-2867

Fax: +49 2203 601-3249