Based on computer simulations, Astrophysicists at the University of Bern, Switzerland, conclude that the comet Chury did not obtain its duck-like form during the formation of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago. Although it does contain primordial material, they are able to show that the comet in its present form is hardly more than a billion years old.
When the Rosetta spacecraft successfully touched down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30, 2016, the news was shared globally via Twitter in dozens of languages. Citizens the world over were engaged by the astronomical achievement, and now experts are eager to learn as much as possible about the critically important celestial body of ice.
We were saddened to learn the news yesterday that Klim Churyumov, who discovered Rosetta's comet together with Svetlana Gerasimenko in 1969, has passed away.
It’s been several years that a new method of processing CCD observations was announced by german astronomer Uwe Pilz. The method was a promising way for amateur astronomers, to generate a visual equivalent magnitude using a CCD measures with a very simple way of processing. Now after several years, there were several observers which were using this method, one of most active was Kevin Hills from United Kingdom. The huge amount of his observations made possible a deep comparative analysis of this method with visual and classic CCD magnitudes.
During the last month of Rosetta's operations at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it was no longer possible to observe the comet with telescopes on Earth because it was not far from the Sun's position in the sky and therefore not visible in the night-time. Fortunately, NASA's Kepler space observatory stepped in, taking images of the comet every 30 minutes from 7 to 20 September, providing important context to Rosetta's in situ measurements.
Mission complete: Rosetta’s journey ends in daring descent to comet
Spacecraft Operations Manager Sylvain Lodiot confirms loss of signal (LOS) and end of Rosetta operations at 13:19 CEST, 30 September 2016, via the voice loop in the Main Control Room at ESA's space operations centre, Darmstadt, Germany.
Here's a sequence of images captured by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera during its descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 30 September.
This is Rosetta's last image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken shortly before impact, an estimated 20 m above the surface.