Home » News & Blogs » Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet
Bookmark and Share
Rosetta Blog

Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet

23 Sep 2016, 08:13 UTC
Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface.
In the three months centred around the comet’s closest approach to the Sun, on 13 August 2015, Rosetta’s cameras captured 34 outbursts.
Compilation of the brightest outbursts seen at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera and Navigation Camera between July and September 2015. Credits: OSIRIS: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; NavCam: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
These violent events were over and above regular jets and flows of material seen streaming from the comet’s nucleus. The latter switch on and off with clockwork repeatability from one comet rotation to the next, synchronised with the rise and fall of the Sun’s illumination.
How to spot the difference between ‘normal’ background activity and short-lived transient events at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Click for large image, full caption and credit info.
By contrast, outbursts are much brighter than the usual jets – sudden, brief, high-speed releases of dust. They are typically seen only in a single image, indicating that they have a lifetime shorter than interval between images – typically 5–30 minutes.
A typical outburst is thought to ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod