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Catching up with goings on at 67P…

If you’re a regular reader you’ll have noticed a break in our programmes over the past week or so. That;s because I was, as we used to say in the days of the early internet, “AFK” (“Away From Keyboard”) . yes, I do occasionally put my laptop down, venture out into the Real World and do.. stuff… and last weekend Stella and I headed up to the wilds of Northumberland to attend the Autumn 2014 Kielder Starcamp. I didn’t go completely cold turkey on Rosetta tho; while I was there I downloaded the latest images whilst huddled over my laptop in the campsite “warm room” – a little refuge from the driving rain and howling wind which traditionally batter the campsite during astronomy events held there – and I gave an illustrated talk about Rosetta’s mission during the Saturday “speakers” session, which went down really well, and afterwards many people told me that they hadn’t really been aware of the mission before but were very excited about the Nov 12th landing after my presentation. So, job done there, I think! 🙂

Anyway, back in civilisation now, and time to catch up with what’s been happening out  there at 67P…

First, and I’m sure many of you will already have seen  this by now, an absolutely STUNNING short sci fi film, referring to the Rosetta mission, has been released, and it is a feast for both eye and imagination. I am not even going to try to describe it here, there’s just no point. Instead, if you haven’t seen it yet – or even if you have, and just want to drool over it again – here’s a link to the film…


But what about the real comet, and the Rosetta mission? Since I headed north quite a few new images have been released, so here’s a “catch up gallery” of them, and some enhanced crops I made from them…


WOW! Look at all that activity! And that was what was happening to 67P WEEKS ago, it’s an old image; the comet must be going absolutely nuts by now! Even more remarkable, that’s – you might want to sit down before I say this – an OSIRIS image!!! No, really, it is, it’s true… Here’s another…


Some more images…


That’s the latest ESA-produced mosaic of a quartet of navcam images, this time a set taken on October 24th. Again you can see that because the comet has rotated relative to the spacecraft between exposures it’s just not possible to make them into a single, seamless image, but there is now so much detail visible to ROSETTA’s navcam that it’s wonderful to just roam around its images, picking out sections of the landscape and isolating and enhancing them. Which is what I’ve done here…


Now, that’s another view of those “enigmatic dunes” spotted a week or so ago. Meanwhile, elsewhere…


That’s a close up of the “crack” many people are so fascinated by. Is it a crack, a sign that the twin lobes of 67P are in danger of splitting? Or is it just an old fissure in the ground that we’re seeing “open up” as material on its sides is dislodged by the comet’s thawing and falling into it? Time will tell…


Now, I love that view, it’s so…busy. All those ledges, plateaus and peaks, that’s a mountain climber’s paradise right there I reckon, and a planetary geologist’s, too…


…but that’s my favourite this time round… you really can imagine walking along that terrace, towards and then past the huge boulder sitting on it, moving on to the edge of the cliff and then staring down… and down… and down

More soon, check back, ok?


One Response

  1. […] DĂĽnenfeld und auch einem markanten Riss in der Oberfläche des Kometen [NACHTRAG: die ĂĽblichen Kommentare dazu]. Derweil hat Chinas neue Mission den Mond erreicht, zahlreiche alte Surveyor-Daten werden […]

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