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Dunes? On a comet?

Another quartet of ROSETTA navcam images was released by ESA today, and they show the most fascinating detail on the surface of 67P. Before we take a look at some of that detail, here’s ESA’s own mosaic made from the four images…


As you can see, the rotation of the comet between frames makes it quite impossible now to make all 4 images into a single, smooth mosaic. But that mosaic can still be enhanced to bring out detail in the jets…

Comet_on_18_October_NavCam enh

Those jets are really blasting out now aren’t they? Oh, if only ROSETTA had a camera that could see the surface of 67P in much more detail than the probe’s navcams can! Why, then we’d probably be able to see the sources of those jets!

Oh, hang on, it does. I forgot for a moment, I’m sorry…

Zooming in on the most recent images reveals some VERY interesting features indeed. Here, take a look…

ESA_Rosetta_NAVCAM_141018_C crop

And this one…

cliffs 1

Look, there’s that “crack” we saw a few weeks ago… is that a sign that the two halves of the comet are in danger of splitting, or is it just a fissure or a fault that was produced when the ground beneath slumped or gave way, and is now filling with dust? Intriguing…

But this one… oh boy, this one really caught my eye. Feast your eyes on this, my friends…

ESA_Rosetta_NAVCAM_141018_D circle

Is that…? Are they…? Yes. It is, and they are…

Dunes. On the surface of a comet. Let’s take a closer look…

crop 4

Really? Dunes? On a comet? What could have caused them? Maybe material from over the horizon, coming out of those mysterious vents, is blown over this area and piles up? Or maybe they were caused by the ground here vibrating? Whatever made them, it’s something new, and something fascinating. I never, ever thought I would see dunes on the surface of a comet. We’ve seen them elsewhere before… On Mars, for example…

mars dunes

…and on Titan…


…and here on Earth, too…


…but on a comet? Well, that’s new… Here, then, are the dunes of 67P…



3 Responses

  1. […] aus nur ca. 8 km Höhe von der Rosetta-NavCam am 18. Oktober aufgenommen – etwa mit Dünen drauf? Weitere Artikel hier und hier, auch der Technologie-Tester für Mini-Asteroiden-Such-Satelliten […]

  2. The dunes on comet 67p are electric phenomena in nature. Any other explanation is nonsense.

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