Comet-Chasing European Probe Photographs Its Lumpy, Icy Target


http://earthchangesmedia.com/comet-chasing-european-probe-photographs-its-lumpy-icy-target
A European probe is starting to get some good looks at the comet with which it will rendezvous next month.
Recent photos snapped by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft suggest that its target comet, known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is a lumpy object sporting three large…

A European probe is starting to get some good looks at the comet with which it will rendezvous next month.

Recent photos snapped by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft suggest that its target comet, known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is a lumpy object sporting three large structures, or perhaps a deep hole, researchers said.

“From what we can discern in these early images, 67P is an irregularly looking body,” Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, principal investigator for Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, said in a statement.

Rosetta took the picture on July 4, when it was about 23,000 miles (37,000 kilometers) from the comet. 67P’s 2.5-mile-wide (4 km) nucleus covers about 30 pixels in the image, researchers said.

An irregular shape for 67P would not be much of a surprise; none of the five comets that have been visited by spacecraft so far have been anywhere close to spherical. For example, Comet Hartley 2, which NASA’s Deep Impact probe flew by in 2010, looks like a chicken drumstick.

Rosetta launched in March 2004, kicking off a looping, 10-year trek to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. That journey is nearly over; the probe is scheduled to meet up with the comet early next month, then drop a lander called Philae onto its nucleus in November.

Philae will collect samples and take the first-ever photos from the surface of a comet, European Space Agency officials said. The main Rosetta probe, meanwhile, will stay close to the comet as it approaches the sun, helping scientists better understand how these icy bodies change during their voyages through the inner solar system.

The Rosetta mission’s estimated total cost is 1.3 billion euros ($1.77 billion at current exchange rates). The mission is scheduled to end in December 2015.

Rosetta’s scientific camera system is known as OSIRIS, short for Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System.

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About Earth Changes Media w/ Mitch Battros

Mitch Battros is a scientific journalist who is highly respected in both the scientific and spiritual communities due to his unique ability to bridge the gap between modern science and ancient text. Founded in 1995 – Earth Changes TV was born with Battros as its creator and chief editor for his syndicated television show. In 2003, he switched to a weekly radio show as Earth Changes Media. ECM quickly found its way in becoming a top source for news and discoveries in the scientific fields of astrophysics, space weather, earth science, and ancient text. Seeing the need to venture beyond the Sun-Earth connection, in 2016 Battros advanced his studies which incorporates our galaxy Milky Way - and its seemingly rhythmic cycles directly connected to our Solar System, Sun, and Earth driven by the source of charged particles such as galactic cosmic rays, gamma rays, and solar rays. Now, "Science Of Cycles" is the vehicle which brings the latest cutting-edge discoveries confirming his published Equation.
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