Author Archives: emily

Living with a comet: an Alice team perspective

Rosetta’s ‘Alice’ instrument – which is the only Rosetta instrument that isn’t an acronym, it is simply a name that the instrument’s principal investigator, Alan Stern, likes – was the first in a line of ultraviolet spectrographs...

Living with a comet: a CONSERT team perspective

Rosetta and Philae were both equipped with the CONSERT radar experiment in order to bounce radio waves between the two to study the internal structure of the comet. Little did we know that this instrument would play...

The story behind finding Philae

On 5 September 2016 one of the most frequently asked questions among Rosetta mission fans – “Where is Philae?” – was finally answered: the definitive image had been taken just a few days earlier that proved without...

Science ‘til the very end

Rosetta will collect science data until the very end of its descent on Friday. The opportunity to study a comet at such close proximity makes the descent phase one of the most exciting of the entire mission....

Living with a comet: a VIRTIS team perspective

Rosetta’s VIRTIS instrument (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer) has collected over 200 million spectra concerning the nature of Comet 67P/C-G’s nucleus and the gases in the coma. Principal Investigator Fabrizio Capaccioni gives the behind the scenes...

Rosetta in numbers

Some impressive numbers from Rosetta’s mission. Click for full res!   Summary Rosetta’s mission lasted 12 years 6 months and 28 days, from launch on 2 March 2004 to mission end on 30 September 2016. During that time,...

Living with a comet: a MIRO team perspective

Rosetta’s MIRO – the Microwave Instrument for the Rosetta Orbiter – has made nearly two billion science measurements at Comet 67P/C-G, and generated over 1.5 million spectra of gases in the comet’s coma. Principal Investigator Mark Hofstadter...

How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale

Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20...

Living with a comet: A ROSINA team perspective

Rosetta’s ROSINA (Rosetta Orbiter Spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis) suite of instruments have made plenty of big headlines over the last two years, with the surprising discovery of molecular oxygen and nitrogen and the ‘flavour’ of...

The surprising comet

As Rosetta began homing in on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in the weeks leading up to its arrival in August 2014, it became very clear that this was no ordinary comet. But its striking shape was only just the...

Visualising Rosetta’s descent

Imagine how Rosetta’s descent might look if you were an observer at Comet 67P/C-G! This new animation visualises the final stages of Rosetta’s descent to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 30 September 2016. The sequence is speeded up to show...

Living with a comet: a COSIMA team perspective

Comet dust particles may be small, but they come in large numbers. COSIMA Principal Investigator Martin Hilchenbach shares some impressive facts about the instrument’s performance, and reflects on the personal highlights of the team during Rosetta’s mission....

Living with a comet: a GIADA team perspective

Rosetta’s Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator GIADA has detected and measured the properties of some 6650 comet dust particles. Principal Investigator Alessandra Rotundi reports on the “beautiful results” that her team’s instrument has collected at Comet...

Living with a comet: a MIDAS team perspective

This is the first of a series of blog posts that delve behind the scenes of Rosetta’s instrument teams to find out what it was really like “living with a comet” for two years, with some impressive...

Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet

Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface. In the three months centred around the comet’s closest approach to the...

Rosetta’s final orbits – animation

This new animation visualises Rosetta’s last two months of trajectories around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The animation begins in early August, when the spacecraft started flying elliptical orbits that brought it progressively closer to the comet at its closest approach. On...