Lander search area. The image is a 2 x 2 mosaic comprising OSIRIS narrow-angle camera images taken on 13 December 2014 from a distance of about 20 km to the centre of the comet.Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Where is Philae? When will it wake up?

These are the two most popular questions currently being asked of the mission – especially on our social media channels – and ones that we will try to answer in this post, including inputs from the OSIRIS...

Four image mosaic comprising images taken on 21 January 2015 by Rosetta's Navigation Camera (NAVCAM). Rotation and translation of the comet during the imaging sequence make it difficult to create an accurate mosaic, and there may be some spurious spatial and intensity features as a result of the mosaic-making sequence, so always refer to the individual frames before performing any detailed comparison or drawing conclusions about any strange structures or low intensity extended emission. Indeed, for this image set, the feature near the centre of the mosaic is a compromise of the top two frames. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

CometWatch – 21 January

Today’s CometWatch mosaic comprises images taken by Rosetta’s navigation camera (NAVCAM) on 21 January, from a distance of 27.9 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x...

Introducing the crumbled dust grain Eloi (a) and the shattered dust grain Arvid (b), two examples of the grains helping scientists to decipher the characteristics of 67P/C-G's dust. For both grains, the image is shown twice under two different grazing illumination conditions: the top image is illuminated from the right, the bottom image from the left. The brightness is adjusted to emphasise the shadows, in order to determine the height of the dust grain. Eloi therefore reaches about 0.1 mm above the target plate; Arvid about 0.06 mm. The two small grains at the far right of image (b) are not part of the shattered cluster.  Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for COSIMA Team MPS/CSNSM/UNIBW/TUORLA/IWF/IAS/ESA/
BUW/MPE/LPC2E/LCM/FMI/UTU/LISA/UOFC/vH&S

COSIMA watches comet shed its dusty coat

Early results from Rosetta's COmetary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser (COSIMA) are published today in the journal Nature. The study covers August to October, when the comet moved along its orbit between about 535 million kilometres to 450 million kilometres from the...

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Hello Hatmehit – CometWatch 18 January

Today’s CometWatch mosaic comprises images taken by Rosetta’s navigation camera (NAVCAM) on 18 January, from a distance of 28.4 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x...

The blue arrow indicates Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s rotation axis, and the red and green arrows display its equatorial x- and y-axes, respectively. 
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Comet ‘pouring’ more water into space

Based on the NASA-JPL press release reporting the results of Rosetta’s MIRO instrument, NASA’s Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter and with additional inputs from the MIRO team. There has been a significant increase in the amount...

How a comet grows a magnetosphere
1. The comet approaches the Sun
2. Water molecules sublimate from the comet as it thaws
3. The water molecules are ionised by ultraviolet light from the Sun
4. Newborn ions are accelerated by the solar wind electric field and are detected by the RPC-ICA instrument
5. The solar wind accelerates the water ions in one direction, but is itself deflected in the opposite direction
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/RPC-ICA

Watching the birth of a comet magnetosphere

Based on the press release of the Swedish Institute of Space Physics summarising the results of the Rosetta Plasma Consortium’s (RPC) Ion Composition Analyser (ICA) that are presented in the journal Science today, and on follow-up discussion with Hans...

GIADA’s dust measurements: 3.7-3.4 AU

Based on inputs from GIADA team members Alessandra Rotundi (instrument PI) and Marco Fulle, following the publication of “Dust Measurements in the Coma of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Inbound to the Sun Between 3.7 and 3.4 AU” in the...

Rosetta scientists measuring the composition of comet 67P’s atmosphere or coma discovered that it varies greatly over time. Large fluctuations in composition in a heterogeneous coma indicate day-night and possibly seasonal variations in the major outgassing species: H2O, CO, and CO2. The red region where CO and CO2 dominate is a part of the comet that is poorly illuminated, indicating a complex coma-nucleus relationship where seasonal variations may be driven by temperature differences just below the comet surface.
Shape model credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Comet’s coma composition varies significantly over time

This entry is based on the Southwest Research Institute’s press release  and covers the results of the ROSINA instrument – the Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis – that were published today in the journal...

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CometWatch 16 January

This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 28.4 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 16 January. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames measure 2.5 km...

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CometWatch 12 January

This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 27.9 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 January. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames measure 2.4 km...

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CometWatch 10 January

This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 27.5 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 10 January. The image resolution is 2.3 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames measure 2.4 km...

OSIRIS wide-angle camera image acquired on 22 November 2014 from a distance of 30 km from Comet 67P/C-G. The image resolution is 2.8 m/pixel. 
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Fine structure in the comet’s jets

In the first OSIRIS image release of 2015, the team provides an unprecedented look at the finer details of 67P/C-G’s dust jets. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has shown activity in the form of jets for many months now, but the...

Four image mosaic comprising images taken on 8 January 2015. Rotation and translation of the comet during the imaging sequence make it difficult to create an accurate mosaic, so always refer to the individual images before drawing conclusions about any strange structures or low intensity extended emission. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

CometWatch – 8 January

This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 27.5 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 8 January. The image resolution at this distance is about 2.3 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024...

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CometWatch – 6 January

This four-image montage comprises images taken from a distance of 27.9 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 January. The image resolution at this distance is 2.3 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames...

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CometWatch – 3 January

This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 28.4 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 3 January. The image resolution at this distance is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames...