CometWatch – 8 August

Rosetta navigation camera (NAVCAM) image taken on 8 August 2014 at about 81 km from comet 67P/C-G.

View and download image here.


Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 8 August 2014 from a distance of about 81 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM



  • tomduf says:

    Ouaouh… Better and better !
    Will it possible to obtain a 3d model in STL format or other (DAE, OBJ etc.) ?

  • Richard Penn says:

    I know it’s too early for analysis, but does it make sense that the neck region is the active one, ablating ice, and that it will therefore break into two objects at some time in the future. It’s going to be fun to watch it being toasted by the sun!

    • Solon says:

      It’s going to be fun to watch it being toasted by the sun!

      I suspect you may be a little surprised by what transpires.

    • Marco Parigi says:

      On comet Hartley, it was the opposite. The ends were very active with jets, and the neck was smooth and inactive. The spin rate is affected by the jets, and my suspicion is that C-G will gradually spin faster, the ends will move further apart, and the neck will become thinner over each orbit for many orbits yet before it seperates into two comets decades into the future.

  • Redgy Devos says:

    Impressive, i have the impression that the neck region has lost a lot of material in this comet’s life time. Those daily images should make into a nice movie. Congrats to all involved!

  • Hannes says:

    Yea, would be great to 3d print the comet for home!

  • patzawa says:

    Thank you to regularly posting pictures of NavCam. Could you give us the exactly time when pictures are taken ?

  • Francisco Orteaga says:

    You make a extraordinary work, for the knowledge of our close Universe, with this fNTstic engineering accomplish. Thanks for share it with the World

  • Ingo Althöfer says:

    Great work.There are overexposed
    photos from Wednesday showing
    most outgasing at the neck.

  • Andrew R Brown says:

    Another astonishing NavCam image. 😀

    That ‘neck’ is really thick, I suspect there will be no fragmentation any time soon.

    There are also quite a few boulders on that ‘neck’ too.

    I think we can dispose of the idea of a contact binary, rather this is one object ‘sculpted’ by impacts and solar radiation.

    Mystery is though, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has only been coming close enough to the Sun at perihelion for sublimation since 1959. Yet the comet looks more weathered than that. Wonder if in the distant past 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko did at one time have closer perihelia, than the orbit expanded before becoming smaller again?

  • Andrew R Brown says:

    Thank You very much Claudia for giving up some time on your weekend to provide this amazing update for us. 🙂

    Andrew R Brown.

  • Γιώργος says:

    It would be very good if we could have new images on a daily basis , a taxpayer.

  • Pete says:

    I’m down here listening to a thunderstorm over the county of Hereford…DTG 100800AAug14 while Rosetta is up among the stars in absolute silence. I’d gladly sit on the comet for a ride of a lifetime!
    Imagine what the close ups are going to be like…:)

  • Dimitri Arendt says:

    Could it be two distinct rocks attached only by gravity, the neck being loose fragments and dust? What would be the gravity force linking the blocks then? I estimated 4.10^7N.

  • Clive Hartland says:

    As I have a Stereo viewing instrument, an ST4 from Wild I printed off the stereo pair and cut the sheet in half and put it under the viewer, boy ,what an image in 3D I could be in space looking at the real comet.
    It does need specialised 3D viewing instruments to do this.
    As a member of a Forum I have been running a Blog for the embers to keep them up to date on the Rosetta saga.


  • Donald Q says:

    So much dust on this baby. It seems that the speeds that dust is ejected on this comet may be low enough that a lot of it returns to the surface.

  • Dave Higgins says:

    A few of the smaller craters are very round and very deep compared to the diameter, These look like an electro sparke machined hole, I cant see any other way to make them. Definately its not an impact. Some even look like pairs, same size and close together, again can not be impact

  • Dave Higgins says:

    A lot of craters look like hexagons with straight sides and flat floors, cant think does not look possible from an impact either?

  • Mark Zambelli says:

    I have a question about all those boulders littering the smooth neck region… will the Rosetta team be able to glean insights into the local gravity field conditions by tracing where these boulders fell from? Boulder trails are seen frequently in the higher gravity of the moon in LROC images so will identifying boulder trails help at all?
    I’m trying to imagine a house-sized boulder coming loose on an overhang on the “head” high “above” the “neck” … what curved trajectory (if any) would the gravity-field impose on the boulder and would it help determining this?
    Thanks for keeping us all in-the-loop with these dailies, go Rosetta.

  • Clive Hartland says:

    The comments about the surface make interesting reading. From my perspective it appears as if the Comet has been exposed tp severe erosion, but from what?
    Solar radiation is the only possible source and as the Solar radiation varies as it flies through past the Sun so the next pass is going to be monitored and then we will know.
    Will Solar radiation be measured on the fly past?


    • Dave Higgins says:

      Clive, the comet is traveling through a magnetic field so is it possibly the charge associated with the field is arcing on to the comet causing the erosion?.
      Even though the comet is hotter than predicted, I struggle to see how heat from the sun will cause this kind of erosion, especially as there seems to be no holes (jets) to allow the sublimation of ice to gas, if there is ice under what appears to be a rocky crust (probably all rock?).
      Looking at the size of the bigger craters, how could out gassing cause such large craters?

  • J Brand says:

    If the neck region were the more active then wouldn’t it be more broken at that point? The neck seems very smooth compared to the rest of the comet which would be consistent with liquid freeze thaw cycles but not cometary activity?

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