Posted on 20/03/2015 by Claudia
CometWatch 14 March – 6 hours later
This single frame NAVCAM image was taken on 14 March at a distance of 81.4 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. At this distance, the resolution of NAVCAM is 6.9 m/pixel. The image is cropped and measures 6.4 × 5.9 km (the original picture, uncropped, is provided at the end of the post and measures 7.1 km across).
The image was taken on the same day as Wednesday's CometWatch entry, but six hours later – roughly half a comet day. In this unusual orientation, the comet's large lobe is up and the small lobe down, while the neck region is cast in shadows.
The Lightroom processed version shows beautiful structures of outflowing material from the neck, as well as from the large lobe. There is also a more general ‘glow’ around the comet, suggestive of generally increasing activity all over the surface. Finally, the large lobe can be seen casting a shadow over the nebulosity beneath it.
On the large lobe, another striking feature catches the eye: the Aten region, an elongated depression between Ash, to the left, and Khepry, to the right.
The original 1024 x 1024 pixel frame is provided below (click on the image for full resolution):