Today’s CometWatch entry is an image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by Rosetta’s NAVCAM on 26 August 2015, about 415 km from the nucleus.
The scale is 35.4 m/pixel and the image measures 36.2 km across. The contrast was increased to reveal the full extent of the comet’s activity.
This view shows the southern hemisphere of 67P/C-G, which had remained in darkness for over five and a half years until seasons changed on the comet in May. Currently, the southern hemisphere is experiencing a short summer, which will last about 10 months, until early 2016.
Ever since, several portions of the comet’s surface that were previously cast in shadow were revealed, allowing scientists to identify four new regions on the nucleus of 67P/C-G.
In today’s CometWatch image the larger of the two comet lobes points up and the smaller lobe down. On the large lobe, parts of the recently identified region Anhur are visible at the centre, with Anubis and Atum on the right and Aker on the left. Of the other newly named regions, Khonsu is located towards the upper edge of the large lobe in this view, hints of Sobek can be seen on the neck, and Wosret is well in sight on the small lobe.
You can find a regional map here, to help find your way around the southern hemisphere of the comet.
The original 1024 x 1024 image of today’s CometWatch is provided below: