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The Wonder of 67P…

ESA has been releasing more ROSETTA navcams, and mosaics made from them, over the past couple of days, and the space probe’s view of 67P is now pretty glorious. Again, I’ve been enhancing those images, and taking crops from them to produce (rough!) views of what the comet’s landscape would look like if you were flying or walking across its surface. So, time for a quick catch up…


I know. I know.




Ok, that last one’s a bit “out there” but I just liked the way the jets are shooting up into the sky.

Then yesterday ESA put out a mosaic that had me grinning as soon as I saw it. Because over on the limb was an oblique view of the Big Crater that just cried out to be zoomed in on and breathed life into… Here you go, an early Christmas present…

Comet_on_9_December_2014_NavCam panorama

Isn’t that just beautiful? Seriously? Just enlarge that and roam around it, imagining that you’ve been crumping across the dusty, boulder-strewn surface of the comet for hours, only for that view to appear over the horizon…

…and I couldn’t resist a colourised version, with a suitable quote… 😉

Comet_on_9_December_2014_NavCam panorama col f

Some more views…


LOVE the long, long shadow cast by that rock…


Thanks again to the ESA team responsible for putting out these images and allowing – no, ENCOURAGING – us to use them and share them, and work with them. It’s such a shame, and a disgrace, that the OSIRIS team continue to horde their images, and thumb their noses at the media, the public and ESA itself. Imagine the high resolution views they have of all the scenes shown above, imagine how stunning they must be. And all those places have names now, they must do. Those towering cliffs, that huge crater, the boulder fields, all must have been christened by now, their names placed in an atlas of 67P. Would it hurt for the OSIRIS team to share those names with us? Would that risk any science? Would that pre-empt the publication of any papers, or lessen the impact of any scientific conference presentations? No. They’re just doing it because they can, and because they, sadly, have no connection with the public. And that’s not just fundamentally wrong, it’s damaging. It reinforces the public’s perception of scientists as cold, detached boffins. Well, that’s up to them, and their leaders. I just hope that if any of them are reading this post they see what I managed to do with the navcams in an hour or so, in various photo processing software packages, on a very modest laptop, then look up at the amazing images pinned to their wall, or strewn across their desk, or being used as their computer’s wallpaper, and realise how wrong it is to keep them from the world, and how much good they could be doing with them.

Yeah, I know. I won’t hold my breath either.

But all you ESA guys releasing the navcams – THANK YOU! 🙂 🙂 🙂

2 Responses

  1. There are probably countless examples of how scientists fail to engage the imagination of the non-science-oriented public. I suggest when publishing pictures of the surfaces of alien worlds, a few versions include a recognizable object so that the scale can be more easily realized. What would a person, a house, or a sky-scraper appear like in the image? Such an addition would go a long way to stimulating further contemplation of the imagery and help trigger a sense of awe sorely lacking in the “average” viewer.

  2. […] Op Cumbrian Sky kwam ik het idee tegen om deze foto een tikkeltje te bewerken, blogger Phoenixpics wist er zelfs een soort van kersttafereel van te maken. Zie Cumbrian Sky in de bron voor meer prachtige uitsneden van de foto. Op de foto hierboven zie je rechts de krater waar Philae zich ergens moet bevinden en als je dat gebied uitsnijdt en linksom roteert krijg je een fraai landschap. Dat heb ik vervolgens van een leuk modieus kleurtje en een bijpassende tekst voorzien en het resultaat daarvan zie je bovenaan – jinglebells all the way. Ik lees trouwens zojuist dat de landing van Philae door Physics World is uitgeroepen tot de “Physics World 2014 Breakthrough of the Year“. Terecht! :bron: Bron: ESO + Cumbrian Sky. […]

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