Posted on 03/06/2016 by emily
The changing comet – call for contributions
Do you enjoy poring over images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko? Have you spotted any changes in its surface features since Rosetta first arrived at the comet in August 2014? We are keen to hear from you!
Between NAVCAM and OSIRIS, and not forgetting the regular “OSIRIS image of the day” images and our NAVCAM CometWatch entries, there are over 20 000 images publicly available to browse covering the 667 days Rosetta has to date spent at the comet.
Indeed, 780 new images have been added to our NAVCAM Archive Image Browser this week, covering the period 6 April – 3 May 2016. Thanks to the hard work of the Rosetta downlink and archive group, this means that from now on, every month you will be able to access the full set of NAVCAM images taken during the previous month, and be able to keep even more up to date with the comet’s appearance than ever before.
Furthermore, with plentiful images available both before and after perihelion (Rosetta’s closest approach to the Sun along its orbit, when the comet’s activity was at its peak), including those captured from as close as 5-10 km from the comet’s surface at various times during the course of the mission, it is becoming easier to spot changes in surface patterns – as some of you have already pointed out in the comments section of this blog.
We’d therefore like to make this a dedicated blog thread to invite you to submit your observations on possible changes that you may have noticed.
Feel free to post the before and after images as links to the archived images and a short description of what changes you can see, or links to your own or other blogs or image galleries where you may have already presented and discussed these images. In any case, please be sure to include the dates of the before and after images so we can follow up.
Do remember to be cautious when comparing images of the same region that have been taken under varying illumination conditions, or from different distances and therefore have a different scale – this can sometimes lead to mistaken identification.
In the coming months, as we approach the end of the mission, we hope to use your contributions to feature in future blog posts.