ESA: Rosetta: Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:53 am

http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/08/13 ... the-comet/

GIADA “TOUCHES” THE COMET!

Rosetta’s Grain Impact Analyser and Dust Accumulator, GIADA, has detected its first dust grains. This is the first time in cometary space exploration that dust has been collected so close to the nucleus and at such large distances from the Sun.

GIADA is one of three instruments on-board Rosetta, along with COSIMA and MIDAS, designed to provide information about dust associated with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (follow the links to read earlier blog posts about the roles of COSIMA and MIDAS). GIADA’s role is to measure the number, mass, momentum, and velocity distribution of dust grains in the near-comet environment, as well as supporting the characterisation of any dust emitting areas on the surface of the comet.

Comet dust grains are thought be a combination of silicates, organics and some minor constituents. These grains are encased in the various ices of the nucleus and released as the ice sublimates (changes to a gas) when warmed by the Sun. Dust grains form part of the coma around the comet and, later the dust tail.

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ESA Rosetta: One Year to Perihelion!

Post by bystander » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:49 pm

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:05 pm

COMET 67P/C-G IN 3D
Peer over cliffs and onto the boulder-strewn 'neck' region, marvel at the layers in the exposed cliff face, and ponder the formation of the numerous crater-like depressions in this amazing 3D view of comet 67P/C-G
The anaglyph image can be viewed using stereoscopic glasses with red–green/blue filters. The two images used ... were taken on 7 August 2014, from a distance of 104 kilometres through the orange filter of the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera. They are separated by 17 minutes and the exposure time is 138 milliseconds.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:44 pm

An excerpt vein The Planetary Society blog

Finding my way around comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted By Emily Lakdawalla
2014/08/15 17:30 UTC

... Each day we're getting views of the nucleus from more directions. There are amazing features everywhere, but it's really hard to orient myself on this crazy-shaped world, and that makes it hard to figure out whether I'm looking at the same thing from one image to the next. I figure other observers are having the same problem, so I thought I'd put together some images that will help all of us navigate around Rosetta's new home! ...
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:55 am

ESA Rosetta Blog, 18th August

Today: a quick recap of Rosetta orbital manoeuvres in the past fortnight since arrival at Comet 67P/C-G on 6 August. Today’s post is covers multiple manoeuvres, which means that the mission operations teams and flight dynamics experts at ESOC have been busy ensuring that everything is happening when it should!

First, before we go any further, a mandatory video! We say ‘mandatory’ because this animation explains in rather good detail what Rosetta has been doing and covers the current time frame up to the end of September. OK – lets watch:
Click to play embedded YouTube video.
(In this animation the comet is an artist’s impression and is not to scale with the spacecraft. The comet rotation is not representative (67P rotates once per 12.4 hours). Dates may be subject to change.)

...
• It’s important to note Rosetta has not been captured by 67P/C-G gravity, and the continuing series of thruster burns are necessary to keep the spacecraft at the comet.
• The craft will execute two of these triangular orbits, referred to by the mission team at ESOC as ‘Close Approach Trajectory’ (CAT); there will be one large, at about 100km closest pass-by distance (‘Big CAT’) and the second will be done at about 50km (‘Little CAT’). This means that the thruster burns are not only changing Rosetta’s direction on each arc, but are also lowering the pass-by distance (i.e. altitude) as well.

There's a lot more detail on the blog post and some very useful further information in the comments section.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:17 pm

ESA:ROSETTA LANDING SITE SEARCH NARROWS
Using detailed information collected by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its first two weeks at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, five locations have been identified as candidate sites to set down the Philae lander in November – the first time a landing on a comet has ever been attempted.

Before arrival, Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko had never been seen close up and so the race to find a suitable landing site for the 100 kg lander could only begin when Rosetta rendezvoused with the comet on 6 August.

The landing is expected to take place in mid-November when the comet is about 450 million km from the Sun, before activity on the comet reaches levels that might jeopardise the safe and accurate deployment of Philae to the comet’s surface, and before surface material is modified by this activity.
...[there is considerably more info at the news release on the website, including examination of each of the potential landing sites .]
Also http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/08/25 ... h-narrows/

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"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Aug 28, 2014 3:07 pm

Here is a blog post by Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society discussing the possible landing sites.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... sites.html
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by bystander » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:09 pm

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by bystander » Sun Sep 07, 2014 8:26 pm

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by bystander » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:35 pm

A Map of Rosetta's Comet (67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko)
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | 2014 Sep 08
The surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko can be divided into several morphologically different regions.

High-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveal a unique, multifaceted world. ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination about a month ago and is currently accompanying the comet as it progresses on its route toward the inner solar system. Scientists have now analyzed images of the comet's surface taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, and allocated several distinct regions, each of which is defined by special morphological characteristics. This analysis provides the basis for a detailed scientific description of 67P's surface. It was presented today at the European Planetary Science Congress 2014.


"Never before have we seen a cometary surface in such detail", says OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. In some of the images, one pixel corresponds to 75 centimeters scale on the nucleus. "It is a historic moment, we have an unprecedented resolution to map a comet", he adds.

With areas dominated by cliffs, depressions, craters, boulders or even parallel grooves, 67P displays a multitude of different terrains. While some of these areas appear to be quiet, others seem to be shaped by the comet's activity. As OSIRIS images of the comet's coma indicate, the dust that 67P casts into space is emitted there. ...
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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:46 pm

There is an interesting guest blog at the Rosetta blog
http://blogs.esa.int/rosetta/2014/09/08 ... telescope/
OBSERVING COMET 67P/C-G WITH THE VERY LARGE TELESCOPE

Guest post by Colin Snodgrass from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany. Colin coordinates a consortium of professional astronomers observing comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Earth.
VLT Tracks Rosetta's Comet
This image of comet 67P/C-G was taken with ESO's Very Large Telescope on 11 August 2014. It was made by stacking 40 short exposure images (each lasting 50 seconds) and then removing the background stars. The comet's coma extends at least 19,000 km from the nucleus. The central pixel includes the Rosetta spacecraft, presently at comet 67P/C-G, which is too small to be resolved in the image. The coma is asymmetric, as the dust is swept away from the Sun – located beyond the lower right corner of the image – to form the beginnings of a tail. Credit: Colin Snodgrass/ESO/ESA


Since rendezvousing with Comet 67P/C-G in early August, Rosetta has been mapping the nucleus, the main focus being the search for suitable landing sites for Philae. There are still just over two months to go before Philae is released from Rosetta, but, in some ways, the lander has already begun its descent, as Rosetta itself is already deep inside the ‘atmosphere’ of the comet, namely its coma. If we want a view of the whole comet we need to take a step back from Rosetta, and use telescopes on Earth. ...
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by bystander » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:10 pm

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:35 pm

I hadn't seen that! :D

I had difficulty deciding which of the images from Colin Snodgrass's most detailed guest blog post to include - the other option was this one: This sequence of images shows a crowded star field towards the centre of our Galaxy, the Milky Way. In the foreground, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko passes through the stars. The comet is difficult to spot, even with a giant telescope like ESO's Very Large Telescope, but it can be seen here moving across the middle of the frame. Even in this image, careful inspection reveals the comet’s coma.
Credit: Colin Snodgrass/ESO/ESA


Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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ESA: Landing spot chosen

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:37 pm

ESA: 'J' marks the spot for Rosetta's lander

15 September 2014
Rosetta’s lander Philae will target Site J, an intriguing region on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko that offers unique scientific potential, with hints of activity nearby, and minimum risk to the lander compared to the other candidate sites.

Site J is on the ‘head’ of the comet, an irregular shaped world that is just over 4 km across at its widest point. The decision to select Site J as the primary site was unanimous. The backup, Site C, is located on the ‘body’ of the comet.

The 100 kg lander is planned to reach the surface on 11 November, where it will perform indepth measurements to characterise the nucleus in situ, in a totally unprecedented way.

Philae’s primary landing site in context Philae’s primary landing site close-up
... A detailed operational timeline will now be prepared to determine the precise approach trajectory of Rosetta in order to deliver Philae to Site J. The landing must take place before mid-November, as the comet is predicted to grow more active as it moves closer to the Sun.

“There’s no time to lose, but now that we’re closer to the comet, continued science and mapping operations will help us improve the analysis of the primary and backup landing sites,” says ESA Rosetta flight director Andrea Accomazzo.

“Of course, we cannot predict the activity of the comet between now and landing, and on landing day itself. A sudden increase in activity could affect the position of Rosetta in its orbit at the moment of deployment and in turn the exact location where Philae will land, and that’s what makes this a risky operation.”
...

read the whole news release at:
http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space ... a_s_lander

Margarita
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Planetary Society blog post on EPSC and Rosetta

Post by MargaritaMc » Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:59 pm

This is the link to Emily Lakdawalla's September 11 post about the Rosetta team's presentation at the European Planetary Science Congress. She wasn't there but Pamela Gay was and there are some interesting tweets from her.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... first.html

This is a rather nice view of the comet taken by the cameras on Philae, whilst still a passenger on Rosetta.
Planetary Society blog ESA / Rosetta / Philae / CIVA

Philae's passenger-side view of comet Churuymov-Gerasimenko

The Philae lander, attached to the side of Rosetta opposite its high-gain antenna, has six micro-cameras positioned around its circumference to capture panoramic views of its landing site after it touches down: the CIVA instrument. While Philae is still attached to Rosetta, two of CIVA's cameras are able to see the solar panels -- and sometimes other things, including, in this case, the comet. Churyumov-Gerasimenko was about 50 kilometers away when the spacecraft took this photo. Two images with different exposure times were merged to bring out the sunlit details on the comet in combination with the very faintly lit backside of the spacecraft's solar panels. This image has been rotated 180 degrees from the original so that solar illumination appears to be coming from the top.
I think that the comet looks like a champagne cork!

M
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Planetary Society blog post about the landing site.

Post by MargaritaMc » Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:35 pm

Planetary society blog post about the chosen landing site. As always, Emily Lakdawalla writes in great and interesting detail.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... hilae.html
I particularly like this flicker gif she's made of the 3D photos which focus of the landing site (I don't have the necessary glasses to view such images.)
Image

M
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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More jets from Rosetta's comet.

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:27 pm

ESA Rosetta blog, 19 September, 2014
This beautiful view shows off a wide range of the comet's features: from the jets emanating from the ‘neck’ region, to the steep cliffs towering over both smooth and grooved terrain, and to the hundreds of boulders scattered across the surface. Four image mosaic of comet 67P/C-G, using images taken on 19 September (rotated, cropped and lightly contrast enhanced). Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
Emily Lakdawalla's Planetary Society blog: More jets from Rosetta's comet

Now I think the comet looks like a Chinese lion...

Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by BMAONE23 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:50 pm

In that interestingly lit view of the comet, the Left side resembles a lion head facing left with the Mane flowing toward the right but the Right lobe looks like a Monkey Facing right

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ROSETTA WILL DEPLOY PHILAE ON 12 NOVEMBER

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Sep 26, 2014 7:20 pm

Rosetta Blog:ROSETTA WILL DEPLOY PHILAE ON 12 NOVEMBER
26 September 2014

The date is set! Rosetta will deploy lander Philae to the surface of comet 67P/C-G on 12 November.
For the primary landing scenario, targeting Site J, Rosetta will release Philae at 08:35 GMT/09:35 CET at a distance of 22.5 km from the centre of the comet, landing about seven hours later. The one-way signal travel time between Rosetta and Earth on 12 November is 28 minutes 20 seconds, meaning that confirmation of the landing will arrive at Earth ground stations at around 16:00 GMT/17:00 CET.

If a decision is made to use the backup Site C, separation will occur at 13:04 GMT/14:04 CET, 12.5 km from the centre of the comet. Landing will occur about four hours later, with confirmation on Earth at around 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET. The timings are subject to uncertainties of several minutes.

Final confirmation of the primary landing site and its landing scenario will be made on 14 October after a formal Lander Operations Readiness Review, which will include the results of additional high-resolution analysis of the landing sites conducted in the meantime. Should the backup site be chosen at this stage, landing can still occur on 12 November.

Read the full story on the ESA Portal: Rosetta to deploy lander on 12 November
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Rosetta Blog: images from 26km showing sublimation

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:59 am

Rosetta Blog:COMETWATCH – 26 KM ON 26 SEPTEMBER


Montage of four images of Comet 67P/C-G taken on 26 September, from a distance of 26.3 km from the centre of the comet. The four 1024 x 1024 pixel images making up the montage are provided at the end of this post.
We have not made a proper mosaic on this occasion, because it is becoming extremely difficult at these close distances due to the combined effect of the comet rotating between the first and last images taken in the sequence (about 10 degrees over 20 minutes) and the spacecraft moving by some 1–2 km in the same time.

While the two images on the right of the montage could perhaps be joined seamlessly, the problem becomes much harder between the lower-right and lower-left images. Careful inspection makes it clear that the perspective has shifted considerably between them and that some of the shadows have changed a lot as well.

It’s not easy to bring these images into alignment and thus we leave the challenge of making a reasonable mosaic from them to you!

That aside, it goes without saying that the main talking point of this image is the spectacular region of activity at the neck of 67P/C-G. What we’re seeing is the product of ices sublimating and gases escaping from inside the comet, carrying streams of dust out into space. Zooming in close to the surface and to the source of this activity and it is apparent that it is originating from several discrete locations.
There are some 3D images here, at the Planetary Society: http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... et-3d.html
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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MPS: Close-up of boulder Cheops

Post by bystander » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:11 pm

Close-up of boulder Cheops
Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | 2014 Oct 09

Scientists have named one of the largest boulders on Rosetta’s comet after an Egyptian pyramid.

The scientific imaging system OSIRIS on board ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta has caught a spectacular glimpse of one of the many boulders that cover the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. With a maximum extension of approximately 45 meters it is one of the larger structures of this kind on the comet and stands out among a group of boulders located on the lower side of 67P’s larger lobe. Since this cluster of boulders reminded the scientists of the pyramids of Giza, the boulder has been named Cheops after the largest pyramid within the Giza Necropolis. The boulder-like structures that Rosetta has revealed on the surface of 67P in the past months are among the comet’s most striking and mysterious features. ...
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Re: Planetary Society blog post on EPSC and Rosetta

Post by KiethHoyt » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:18 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:This is the link to Emily Lakdawalla's September 11 post about the Rosetta team's presentation at the European Planetary Science Congress. She wasn't there but Pamela Gay was and there are some interesting tweets from her.
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/emily-la ... first.html

This is a rather nice view of the comet taken by the cameras on Philae, whilst still a passenger on Rosetta.
Planetary Society blog ESA / Rosetta / Philae / CIVA

Philae's passenger-side view of comet Churuymov-Gerasimenko

The Philae lander, attached to the side of Rosetta opposite its high-gain antenna, has six micro-cameras positioned around its circumference to capture panoramic views of its landing site after it touches down: the CIVA instrument. While Philae is still attached to Rosetta, two of CIVA's cameras are able to see the solar panels -- and sometimes other things, including, in this case, the comet. Churyumov-Gerasimenko was about 50 kilometers away when the spacecraft took this photo. Two images with different exposure times were merged to bring out the sunlit details on the comet in combination with the very faintly lit backside of the spacecraft's solar panels. This image has been rotated 180 degrees from the original so that solar illumination appears to be coming from the top.
I think that the comet looks like a champagne cork!

M
This really puts into perspective how far we have come as a species, as well as the massiveness of space. To think, a large, mountainous beast millions of miles away is touched by technology that was created by the smallest speck of star-stuff; humans.

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Oct 10, 2014 9:09 pm

Here is a NavCam wide view of the area of the comet containing Cheops.
Rosetta Blog

This four-image NAVCAM montage comprises images taken on 8 October from a distance of 16.9 km from the centre of comet 67P/C-G, so roughly 15 km from the surface.
... When seen in this side-on view, Cheops appears much more like its Egyptian pyramid namesake and has a height of approximately 25 metres, compared with a width of 45 metres as seen from above in yesterday’s OSIRIS image. For reference, the real Pyramid of Cheops* at Giza is 139 metres high and 230 metres across at the base. ...
* Info about the Egyptian original at Wikipedia and here
One does wonder what the Pharoah Khufu (Cheops) would think about this use of his name, four and a half thousand years on... I suspect that he would feel that it was a fitting tribute to his greatness.
Pyramids on the Giza Plateau in Egypt


Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: ESA: Rosetta: 100 days to wake-up

Post by KiethHoyt » Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:43 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
* Info about the Egyptian original at Wikipedia and here
One does wonder what the Pharoah Khufu (Cheops) would think about this use of his name, four and a half thousand years on... I suspect that he would feel that it was a fitting tribute to his greatness.
Pyramids on the Giza Plateau in Egypt


Margarita
Well, the name sure is fitting when talking about a great King that roams the skies. The ironic thing is that a book by Jane C. Loudon, The Mummy! A Tale of the 22nd Century is about a society that is highly advanced on one side and completely immoral on on the other side. The only thing that could save the people was the mummy of Khufu (Cheops). The comet looks as if it could be broken up into two sides, but also her story alludes to our world's societies today.

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ESA: Rosetta Philae Self portrait with Comet from 16 km

Post by MargaritaMc » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:06 pm

Rosetta Blog: 14 October 2014.

MISSION SELFIE FROM 16 KM

If you thought last month’s mission ‘selfie’ from a distance of 50 km from Comet 67P/C-G was impressive, then prepare to be wowed some more: this one was taken from less than half that distance, at just 18 km from the centre of the comet, or about 16 km from the surface.
...
The 7 October selfie is the last image from Philae before the lander separates from Rosetta on 12 November. The next image will be taken by CIVA shortly after separation, when the lander will look back at the orbiter to bid it a final farewell.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS