CometWatch – 19 August

Rosetta navigation camera (NAVCAM) image taken on 19 August 2014 at a distance of about 79 km from comet 67P/C-G.

Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 19 August 2014 from a distance of about 79 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Full-frame NAVCAM image taken on 19 August 2014 from a distance of about 79 km from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM



  • Ingo Althöfer says:

    Thanks again for the nice photo. The shadows
    allow to estimate the heights of certain

  • Peter G says:

    Would it be possible that the Philea landing team gives the public a typical size of the anticipated landing ellipse, then we can join in the hunt for a good landing spot using all the pictures that have been released to date. Should be fun, let’s see who comes closest to the eventual choice by the experts.

  • yuping says:

    Can’t wait to see when the comet becomes active.

  • William Frankeberger says:

    Can we get more of those stereo double-photos? Those are incredibly revealing of heights and depths.

    This comet no longer looks to me like two objects cemented together; looks more like one object that has been severely scooped out.

  • David Williams says:

    I think we are beginning to see layered strata that has been separated at some point and then reformed

  • Losby says:

    Will a 3D model be shared ? I would enjoy manipulating it in a 3D software to see the Comet in detail. Thanks for all your amazing work.

  • Clive Hartland says:

    Most stereo overlaps are 40%, that is 40% of the 1st picture is included in the 2nd picture. This gives a good image showing an enhanced height effect.
    I am not sure that the rotating Comet will give a satisfactory pair of images as it is not only rotating but tumbling as well which would give lateral shift of the images.
    The 1st pair taken from a distance were fine giving a good stereo image but the 2nd lot were not so good as the edges of the pics. were fuzzy due to the tumbling effect. I found I could only focus on the top of the escarpment to get good stereo vision. Maybe some parts of the object were moving faster than the rest due to the motion of the Comet.
    We just need more Stereo pairs with good time seperation.


  • Pete says:

    You will be able to see my house soon. I will wave when Rosetta ‘on tops’. Question…ESA, do you expect to see any of the primary colours at all and if so, which hue?

  • Stunning photography. Thanks for sharing.

  • esseffgee says:

    Hi Emily,

    Many thanks to you and your colleagues for taking the time to post from your other responsibilities. Don’t forget that for every response you see here, there are probably 50,000 other lurkers you don’t hear from who also appreciate ypur postings!

    – Steve

  • Dan Gregerson says:

    Could the cavity neck be the result of coma erosion due to concentrated thermal radiation at the base of reflective canyon walls?

    • Ingo Althöfer says:

      I think the comet is almost coaldark.
      So, reflected light should play only a minor
      role, at least in the currnt state.
      Just my 2 cent.

  • Ardy says:

    Have we got a good estimate for the mass yet? What is it?

  • Ardy says:

    What is the closest the spacecraft will ever be to the comet and when?

  • Ingo Althöfer says:

    In ESA announcemet 10km are given as a plan.
    However, at the very end of the mission, the
    team might try a soft landing of Rosetta itself.

    • Pete says:

      As the comet travels away from the Sun the solar panels will eventually not provide enough power for operations. A landing should be feasible. Avoiding getting blasted back into orbit from venting gases may be a problem though. I probably seem to be a know all but I dare to dream.
      I forget the orbital return date however, can Rosetta survive, once again, the frigid realms of the outer solar system long enough to be brought back to life when she feels the warmth from dear old Sol.
      As Elton John says in the song Rocket Man ‘it’s lonely in outer space on such a timeless flight’.

    • J says:

      Interresting idea: Rosetta landing on 67P 🙂

      But what i think would be really cool:
      Rosetta maintaining a stable orbit around 67P, following the comet (mostly in hibernation) on it’s trajectory until it once again get’s close enough to the sun (in 5-6 years) for Rosetta to wake up once again.
      If Rosetta would manage this and still be operational, we could see if anything has changed on 67P while it was “away”, and make a detailed comparison between the two sun-approaches of 67P.
      …but i’m afraid that would a bit to much to ask, even for Rosetta

  • Michelle says:

    I am one of the 50,000 lurkers lol, just want to say I am absolutely in awe of you guys and the work that the team at ESA has done so far, it is absolutely gripping, as a lay person, looking at these fab pictures and reading all the manoeuvres that you can do with Rosetta, good luck in finding a spot to land the Philae lander and looking forward to lots more fantastic pictures of the comet and possibly the tail up close.

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