Tag Archives: dust

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...

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...

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....

Rosetta catches dusty organics

Rosetta’s dust-analysing COSIMA (COmetary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser) instrument has made the first unambiguous detection of solid organic matter in the dust particles ejected by Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in the form of complex carbon-bearing molecules. While organics had...

Imaging tiny comet dust in 3D

Rosetta has imaged the smallest grains of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dust yet, with its Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System, MIDAS.   MIDAS works by collecting and then physically scanning grains with an Atomic Force Microscope. This uses a very...

Rosetta safe mode 5 km from comet

Over the weekend, Rosetta experienced a ‘safe mode’ event 5 km from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Contact with the spacecraft has since been recovered and the mission teams are working to resume normal operations. “We lost...

Comet’s dust trail stretches over 10 million km

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Geraimenko’s dust trail has been observed to stretch at least 10 million kilometres in the latest images taken by professional astronomers working on the ground-based observing campaign. The image mosaic shown here is composed of four...

Profiling COSIMA’s dust grain family

Rosetta’s COSIMA instrument – the Cometary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser – has detected tens of thousands of dust grains since arriving at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The grains collected from 11 August 2014 – 3 April 2015 across nine...

Inside Rosetta’s comet

This article is mirrored from the main ESA Web Portal. There are no large caverns inside Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA’s Rosetta mission has made measurements that clearly demonstrate this, solving a long-standing mystery. Comets are the icy remnants...

Rosetta tracks debris around comet

This blog post is based on the papers “Orbital elements of material surrounding comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko,” by B. Davidsson et al, and “Search for satellites near comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko using Rosetta/OSIRIS images,” by I. Bertini et al, which are...

MIDAS and its first dust grain

This blog post is contributed by Mark Bentley, MIDAS Principal Investigator at the Space Research Institute (IWF) in Graz, Austria. One of the big challenges in planning MIDAS operations is predicting the amount of dust that we...

COSIMA reaches for dust

Now that comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is within our reach, Rosetta’s mass spectrometer COSIMA, managed by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, is beginning to reach for cometary dust. Literally. On Sunday 10 August 2014,...