Tag Archives: science

Rosetta’s last words: science descending to a comet

On 30 September 2016, at 11:19:37 UT in ESA’s mission control, Rosetta’s signal flat-lined, confirming that the spacecraft had completed its incredible mission on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko some 40 minutes earlier and 720 million km...

Alice’s last spectra

We were happy to spot this tweet from Rosetta’s Alice instrument Principal Investigator Alan Stern over the weekend, showing the final spectrograph image obtained by the instrument moments before Rosetta impacted on to the surface of the comet on Friday: Heading...

Rosetta’s last NAVCAM image

Rosetta’s Navigation Camera captured five images shortly after the collision manoeuvre last night, which are being analysed by flight dynamics to confirm the spacecraft is on track to impact its target in the Ma’at region of Comet...

Science highlights briefing starting soon

The Rosetta science highlight briefing at the European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, will start shortly. Tune in from 14:30 14:45 to the livestream viewer at rosetta.esa.int or via https://livestream.com/ESA/rosettagrandfinale or ESA’s Facebook page to follow...

#LivingWithAComet blog post series – summary

Find out from Rosetta’s instrument teams what it was really like “living with a comet” for two years. The blog posts include anecdotes from the teams including challenges overcome and ‘scares’ the instruments gave them, as well as...

Living with a comet: an OSIRIS team perspective

 OSIRIS, Rosetta’s Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System, has been our all-seeing eye on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, capturing nearly 68,000 high-resolution images of its nucleus and coma from all angles for 924 days. Here the OSIRIS team...

Living with a comet: RPC team perspective

RPC, the Rosetta Plasma Consortium, comprises five sensors tasked with investigating the magnetic, electric and plasma environment of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimneko – the most well-known results perhaps being that of the “Singing Comet” and the non-magnetised nature of...

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...

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...

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...

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....