COBS News archive

Rosetta in numbers
September 28, 2016
Some impressive numbers from Rosetta's mission. Click for full res!

Astronomers capture best view ever of disintegrating comet
September 26, 2016
Astronomers have captured the sharpest, most detailed observations of a comet breaking apart 67 million miles from Earth, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The images suggest that the roughly 4.5-billion-year-old comet, named 332P/Ikeya-Murakami, or comet 332P, may be spinning so fast that material is ejected from its surface. The resulting debris is now scattered along a 3,000-mile-long trail, larger than the width of the continental United States.

CometWatch 18 September – a new view of Rosetta’s impact site
September 26, 2016
As the Rosetta mission draws to a close next Friday, 30 September 2016, the CometWatch team here at ESA realised that this will be the last 'regular' entry of this popular feature on the blog (*) through which we have shared a great deal of views of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken with Rosetta's navigation camera (NAVCAM) since July 2014, shortly before Rosetta's arrival at the comet.

Summer fireworks on Rosetta’s comet
September 26, 2016
Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface. In the three months centred around the comet’s closest approach to the Sun, on 13 August 2015, Rosetta’s cameras captured 34 outbursts.

Rosetta’s final orbits – animation
September 23, 2016
This new animation visualises Rosetta's last two months of trajectories around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

CometWatch – 31 August & 11 September
September 23, 2016
This week's CometWatch entry is a double feature, with two images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta's NAVCAM taken on 31 August and 11 September 2016, when the spacecraft was 8.8 and 9.8 km, respectively, from the centre of the comet nucleus.

Beginning of the end
September 23, 2016
Today's blog post features detailed information on the intense, behind-the-scenes activities during Rosetta's final weeks, courtesy of Sylvain Lodiot, Spacecraft Operations Manager, at ESOC, and Laurence O'Rourke, Rosetta Science Ground Segment – Science Operations Coordinator, at ESAC.

Rosetta’s descent towards region of active pits
September 12, 2016
Squeezing out unique scientific observations until the very end, Rosetta’s thrilling mission will culminate with a descent on 30 September towards a region of active pits on the comet’s ‘head’.

The great pit of Deir el-Medina
September 12, 2016
On 30 September, Rosetta will descend towards a smooth region in Ma’at, on the smaller of the two lobes of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It will target a region that is home to several active pits measuring over 100 m wide and over 50 m deep, with the hope to get some close-up glimpses of these fascinating features.

Rosetta catches dusty organics
September 09, 2016
Rosetta’s dust-analysing COSIMA (COmetary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser) instrument has made the first unambiguous detection of solid organic matter in the dust particles ejected by Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in the form of complex carbon-bearing molecules.

Philae found!
September 05, 2016
Less than a month before the end of the mission, Rosetta’s high-resolution camera has revealed the Philae lander wedged into a dark crack on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

CometWatch 22 August 2016
September 04, 2016
This week’s CometWatch entry was taken with Rosetta’s NAVCAM on 22 August 2016, when the spacecraft was 6.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

The comet that disappeared: What happened to Ison?
August 22, 2016
Comet ISON, a bright ball of frozen matter from the earliest days of the universe, was inbound from the Oort Cloud at the edge of the solar system and expected to pierce the Sun's corona on November 28. Scientists were expecting quite a show. A new study suggests the comet actually broke up before reaching the sun.

CometWatch – early August round-up
August 16, 2016
Today’s CometWatch entry features a new image from Rosetta’s NAVCAM (below) along with a round-up of images released from the OSIRIS narrow- and wide-angle cameras in the last week.

CometWatch 6 August – Two years on
August 09, 2016
Two incredible years have passed since ESA’s comet-chaser Rosetta arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 6 August 2014.

CometWatch 24 July
July 29, 2016
This stunning view along the boundary between Hatmehit and Wosret was captured by Rosetta’s NAVCAM on 24 July from a distance of 9.7 km to the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Farewell, silent Philae
July 29, 2016
Tomorrow, 27 July 2016 at 09:00 UTC / 11:00 CEST, the Electrical Support System Processor Unit (ESS) on Rosetta will be switched off. The ESS is the interface used for communications between Rosetta and the lander, Philae, which has remained silent since 9 July 2015.

CometWatch 18 July
July 29, 2016
This week's CometWatch entry is an image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta's NAVCAM, taken on 16 July 2016 when the spacecraft was 9.5 km from the centre of the comet nucleus.

Final destination: Ma’at region
July 29, 2016
The decision has been made for the location of Rosetta’s controlled impact on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 30 September 2016, ending the mission.

CometWatch 9 July
July 29, 2016
This week's CometWatch image was taken with Rosetta's NAVCAM on 9 July 2016, when the spacecraft was 11.7 km from the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.