CometWatch – 22 August

Rosetta navigation camera (NAVCAM) image taken on 22 August 2014 at a distance of about 64 km from comet 67P/C-G.


Rosetta navigation camera image taken on 22 August 2014 at a distance of about 64 km from comet 67P/C-G. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM.



  • BOXBERGER says:

    Encore une autre image magnifique, j’adore cette mission 🙂

  • Clive Hartland says:

    My theory is that originally eons ago the Comet was spherical, due to its orbit as it came into our Solar system and became warmed up it sublimated water and gases which would be jetted from the part receiving the most heating from Solar rays. That is the most solid part, as this occurred then the dust etc. was ejected into space and slowly the valley almost cutting the Comet in half was formed.
    I think now that another pass around Our Sun may cause enough sublimation to actually severe the 2 parts and make 2 Comets!
    This is just a theory, but may explain the odd shape of the Comet at this time.
    I welcome comment on this.


    • Steve Specht says:

      Or, it was two clumps, slowly orbiting and weakly attracted to each other, that gradually got close enough to ‘touch’, but, continue to ‘tumble’ around their common center of mass. The stuff in the ‘isthmus’ is just dust & small debris collected by their mutual weak gravity. Would be nice to have a density print of the two (?) snowball’s interiors and the ‘isthmus. Seems like a simpler explanation, and after continued passes in toward the sun, should retain it’s basic configuration. Nice we’ll see after the current pass, which, being outside earth’s orbit, is not, really, very close to the sun …

    • Philip says:

      Because of the many meteor impacts which are visble around the comet, I don’t think that the constriction is the result of erosion by the sunwind. Otherwise the sunwind erosion should have flatten the rest of the comet as well. And most of all the sunwind erosion should have mage a smooth constreiction in the” neck” wich is not the case…
      I think that we are looking at the genisis of the comet; Two heated masses in a semi-liquid state.clashes and due their own kinetic energy and different directions they want to split up again but the gravity and adhesion forces are a bit stronger and holds the two parts together in a sort of potato shape. Thesame sort of shape when waterdrops collide.


  • David Williams says:

    This is amazing, it seems from this and the other photos that this centre ‘neck’ potion (valley, gorge) was either gouged out with a glancing blow, leaving the cliff faces intact or collapsed into itself leaving just soft material at the bottom and boulders. The striations on the ‘head’ seems to indicate a rejoining.
    But hey! I’m only an armchair comet watcher 🙂

    • Steve Specht says:

      How about a rotating binary of two snowballs, gradually getting closer until they touch?

  • David Williams says:

    Sorry Claudia,
    That should read ‘portion’ not ‘potion’

    Ps. Thanks for the posts.

  • Eddy says:

    Are we gonna see any more pic’s from the OSIRIS cam?
    And are there boulders on the move?
    Thank you for your precious time

  • William Frankeberger says:


    On the other hand… check out asteroid Toutatis:

    and Itokawa:

    Since asteroids so often look potato-shaped and double-lobed, maybe we should be drawing conclusions from studying asteroids. No ice or sublimation needed?

    …Just playing devil’s advocate (yes, I drove my professors crazy).

  • Dave says:

    Nice that we can see more surface detail now that we are closer.
    Striations on head now clear it’s not layering, leaving us to work out how it was eroded.
    Liked the idea that the neck was gouged out but how did the glancing blow go right round the neck? MAybe it was Potato peeler?
    William I agree with you comets and astoroids are beginning to look very similar to the point you have to ask do they have similar birth.
    Gently accumulating ice and dust in a very cold part of the solar system seems to be less and less likely.
    Can’t wait for even closer photos

  • antosarai says:

    How come that large hole/crater in ‘front’ of the ‘head’ is never shown in recent images?

  • Robin says:

    Are you testing the gravitational force at different points of the comet? The comet has such a peanut shape that it will be interesting if there is less gravity at say the thin middle area compared to the long ends. Adversely if the gravitational force is the same in any circumference then this will also be remarkable.

  • Andrew R Brown says:

    Thank you very much for taking time out of your weekend to provide this update for us Claudia.

    The layering on the larger lobe is interesting as are the striations on the ‘chin’ of the head.

    Boulders are found near enough everywhere despite terrain types.

    Will be interesting to see the five finalists for the Philae landing site tomorrow.

  • Marco Parigi says:

    Maybe the black surface is polymerised hydrocarbons. With heat from the sun and the sublimation of sulfur, the polymer would then be vulcanized. How ironic would it be if the rubber ducky had a skin of vulcanized rubber?

  • Bob Miller says:

    I’m getting excited. My kid brother, Dale Miller of DMC ground the elliptical antenna on the space station that will receive the data from the lander on the comet. Unfortunately, Dale didn’t live to see it happen. We were following the events of the space craft from launching and I still follow it. Jet Propulsion Laboratory said that Gale’s antenna was the 1st item in the istory of JPL that was perfect right out of the box and needed no revisions. I’m very proud of Dale’s accomplishments attained on only a High school education. DMC is the leading Jig Grinding company in the world and can gring to 1 millionths tolerance.

  • gaby de wilde says:

    Why are we looking at still images in stead of videos?

  • Paja Cutura says:

    These CometWatch NavCam images are great, especially now when distance to comets nucleus is getting smaller.

    But you haven’t posted any new image since August 22.

    Will there be more daily images???

  • gumersindo gonzalez says:

    ¿ Si tan poca gravedad tiene porque hay un argayo en el pescuezo del corío ?.
    Un saludo desde ASTURIES

  • USXPAT says:

    This mission is so cool. I have not been this excited since the Viking landers on Mars. I read that the gravity on the surface was something like 1/10,000 that of earth. Escape velocity is less than .5m/s , so if you were on the surface and you jumped, would you go into orbit? It looks like from the “highlands” looking down into the valley isthmus would be around a mile or more. I hope this all goes well, this is all very super cool sci/fi for real. I can’t wait to see the out gassing as it happens. Well done to all the team working on this.

  • Andre Hunt says:

    This is simply the bigggest Champagne Cork in the galaxy.

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