COBS News archive

Hubble detects 'exocomets' taking the plunge into a young star
January 09, 2017
Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging onto the star HD 172555, which is a youthful 23 million years old and resides 95 light-years from Earth.

Relationships between chemicals found on comets
December 05, 2016
A new study has revealed similarities and relationships between certain types of chemicals found on 30 different comets, which vary widely in their overall composition compared to one another. The research is part of ongoing investigations into these primordial bodies, which contain material largely unchanged from the birth of the solar system some 4.6 billion years ago.

Comet Chury is much younger than previously thought
November 12, 2016
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.

Astronomers predict possible birthplace of Rosetta-probed comet 67P
October 19, 2016
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.

Klim Churyumov (1937-2016)
October 18, 2016
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.

A note to CCD observers - kphot review
October 16, 2016
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.

CometWatch from Kepler
October 08, 2016
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.

Loss of signal confirmation
October 08, 2016
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.

Mission Complete
October 08, 2016
Mission complete: Rosetta’s journey ends in daring descent to comet

Rosetta’s landing site
October 08, 2016
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.

Comet landing: Rosetta’s last image
October 08, 2016
This is Rosetta's last image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken shortly before impact, an estimated 20 m above the surface.

Comet landing descent image – 1.2 km
October 08, 2016
Rosetta’s descent continues. Here's an OSIRIS narrow-angle camera Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko captured at 10:14 GMT from an altitude of about 1.2 km on 30 September.

Comet landing descent image – 5.7 km
October 08, 2016
Another striking image of the Ma'at region of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta's descent onto the surface of the comet, taken with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera at 08:21 GMT from an altitude of about 5.7 km.

Comet landing descent image – 5.8 km
October 08, 2016
As Rosetta continues its descent onto the Ma'at region on the small lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image at 08:18 GMT from an altitude of about 5.8 km.

Comet landing descent image – 8.9 km
October 08, 2016
As Rosetta gets closer and closer to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this beautifully detailed image of the comet surface at 06:53 GMT from an altitude of about 8.9 km.

Comet landing descent images – 11.7 km
October 08, 2016
During Rosetta's final descent, which is currently undergoing, the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 05:25 GMT from an altitude of about 11.7 km.

How to follow Rosetta’s grand finale
September 28, 2016
Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 GMT (13:20 CEST). Details of how, when and where to follow the key moments online, starting with a review of the mission’s impressive haul of science highlights on 29 September, can be found below

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.