This week Rosetta has been moving back towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko again following its far excursion in the anti-sunward direction to study the wider coma, tail and plasma environment.
Last week, Rosetta embarked on an excursion around 1000 km in the anti-sunward direction to study the wider coma, tail and plasma environment of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Geraimenko’s dust trail has been observed to stretch at least 10 million kilometres in the latest images taken by professional astronomers working on the ground-based observing campaign. The image mosaic shown here is composed of four images taken using the 2.5 m Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma on the night of 12 March.
This week’s CometWatch entry from Rosetta’s NAVCAM was taken on 19 March from a distance of just 12 km.
This week's CometWatch is an image taken by Rosetta's NAVCAM on 15 March, when the spacecraft was about 13 km from the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
CBET nr. 4266, issued on 2016, March 16, announces the discovery of a comet (magnitude ~18) by R. A. Kowalski on CCD images obtained with the 0.68-m Schmidt telescope in the course of the Catalina Sky Survey on Mar. 15.44-15.46 UT. The new comet has been designated C/2016 E2 (Kowalski).
This week, CometWatch features an image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken by Rosetta's NAVCAM on 1 March 2016, when the spacecraft was 26.7 km from the comet nucleus.
This week’s CometWatch entry pictures Comet 67P/C-G as seen with Rosetta’s NAVCAM on 22 February, from a distance of 32.5 km to the centre of the comet.
This month, Rosetta is approaching Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 40 km or less, returning beautiful views of the nucleus and its surface features. In today's CometWatch image, we see the comet pictured by Rosetta's NAVCAM on 10 February 2016, when the spacecraft was 50.6 km from the comet nucleus.
Silent since its last call to mothership Rosetta seven months ago, the Philae lander is facing conditions on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko from which it is unlikely to recover. Rosetta, which continues its scientific investigations at the comet until September before its own comet-landing finale, has in recent months been balancing science observations with flying dedicated trajectories optimised to listen out for Philae. But the lander has remained silent since 9 July 2015.