Science and Exploration

ESA: The Organic Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

By Marc Boucher
Status Report
August 11, 2015
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ESA: The Organic Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
A short-lived outburst from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 29 July 2015. The image was taken from a distance of 186 km from the centre of the comet. The jet is estimated to have a minimum speed of 10 m/s and originates from a location on the comet’s neck, in the rugged Anuket region. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA.

On 13 August, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reaches its closest point to the Sun (perihelion) and the Rosetta orbiter will be there to see exactly what happens.
Rosetta will continue monitoring the comet’s activity until the extended mission ends, in September 2016, to increase our understanding of how a comet changes during its orbit and as it approaches and moves away from the Sun.

This film includes some of the most recent science findings about the comet including those from the CONSERT, CIVA, ROLIS, PTOLEMY and COSAC instruments. It covers the comet’s high porosity and the detection of multiple organic compounds. Some of these compounds are key ingredients for life and four compounds have never been found before on a comet until now.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.