Video report: Rosetta orbiter science

It is almost a year since the Rosetta spacecraft began orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014. The orbiter’s eleven instruments are studying the comet at different wavelengths – infrared, ultraviolet, microwave and radio – as well as gathering high-resolution images and information about its shape, density, temperature and chemical composition.

This video outlines the mission’s scientific highlights so far – “a geologist’s playground” – and some of the latest science from three of the orbiter’s instruments: the Osiris camera, the microwave MIRO instrument and VIRTIS (visible and infrared thermal imaging spectrometer), which is studying the comet’s nucleus.

It contains footage from the first Rosetta science workshop, which was recently held in Rome, as well as the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany – where a copy of Osiris is maintained in a vacuum chamber to test commands.



  • originalJohn says:

    ” recently detected more than a hundred patches of water ice on the comet’s surface ”

    Belief presented as fact. No evidence that they are ice.

    • Robin Sherman says:

      VIRTIS results, AGU Meeting 2014 first morning session. I have mentioned this more than once.

    • Mark says:

      Spectroscopic evidence is strong evidence for water ice.

      • originalJohn says:

        Evidence for the presence of water Mark not of its origin.

        • ianw16 says:

          Sorry, but that’s wrong. Spectroscopy samples the surface material. That is what was done at Tempel 1. That was water ice. For this they haven’t yet got definitive proof of ice, but there’s nothing much else it can be.
          The same technique has been used elsewhere, for instance in identifying various minerals on the martian surface.
          It doesn’t rely on dissociation products, purely the properties of the material itself.

  • Herobrine says:

    Speaking of how long it has been, I was wondering what you were able to find out with respect to my question from 8 days ago?

    For reference, the question was:
    “The first block of 67P science data from all of the instrument teams was due in to ESA no later than 19 May 2015, to be deposited in PSA soon (about a week) afterward. It is now 57 days (about 16% of a year) later and no (0) science data has made it into the PSA
    Emily, have none of the instrument teams fulfilled their obligation to ESA and to the citizen taxpayers of its member states in terms of science data release, or is ESA having trouble getting the data into PSA? Or is there some confusion as to when that data is actually required to be delivered to ESA?.

    The OSIRIS team seems to be having fun pointing their instrument at Pluto and seems to have plenty of time to release that imagery, so I have to wonder why, 57 days after the first block of 67P science data was due in to ESA, we still see nothing in the PSA.”,

    to which, you responded:
    “Will try to get an update on the data delivery schedule in the next day/week.”


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