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Rosetta swings low by the comet 67P, and sees it's own shadow!

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posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 02:22 PM
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Rosetta space probe dipped to a mere 6 kilometers from the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Feb. 14, 2015. When it did, it saw something remarkable: Its own shadow on the surface of the comet!


Full-sized image: blogs.esa.int...

The shadow is that elongated blurry shape at the bottom of the image.

The image is at the remarkable 11 cm/pixel, I think the highest ever achieved by a spacecraft orbiting around a Solar System body.

Phil Plait's blog gives more details: www.slate.com...

ESA blog with even more information and images: blogs.esa.int...

All I can say is - wow!
edit on 3-3-2015 by wildespace because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 02:28 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace
Rosetta space probe dipped to a mere 6 kilometers from the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Feb. 14, 2015. When it did, it saw something remarkable: Its own shadow on the surface of the comet!


Full-sized image: blogs.esa.int...

The shadow is that elongated blurry shape at the bottom of the image.

The image is at the remarkable 11 cm/pixel, I think the highest ever achieved by a spacecraft orbiting around a Solar System body.

Phil Plait's blog gives more details: www.slate.com...

ESA blog with even more information and images: blogs.esa.int...

All I can say is - wow!


That's a pretty cool photo.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 02:32 PM
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a reply to: wildespace

Where are the gas jets from the sub-surface ice? Shouldn't those or evidence of that dynamic be showing? /sarc off.

Keep in mind the true color is darker than coal and the density is less than liquid water....

I'll disclose my leading theory again for the record... it's pumice with volatile gas in the bubbles. Like a piece of molten silicate rock that cooled very quickly. The rock electrically erodes and frees the gas. Stay tuned and shred my hypothesis if it's proved wrong.
edit on 3-3-2015 by InverseLookingGlass because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 02:45 PM
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I agree with you. Electric Universe. a reply to: InverseLookingGlass



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 04:26 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace
All I can say is - wow!


Wow indeed.

How long until we have cameras attached to countless comets. Endless eyes flying through the cold of space, mapping and recording?



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 06:12 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace
Rosetta space probe dipped to a mere 6 kilometers from the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko...

ESA blog with even more information and images: blogs.esa.int...
Thanks for the interesting topic!

I'm surprised the shadow is as visible as it is, since 6km is pretty far away and as the article mentions:

If you were standing on the surface with Rosetta high above you, there would be no place in the shadow where the entire Sun would be blocked from view, which explains why there is no fully dark core to the shadow.


The high resolution imagery is fantastic.



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 06:19 PM
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6 more weeks of winter because she saw her own shadow. .lol



posted on Mar, 3 2015 @ 06:40 PM
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Is it just me or does that seem like a rather LARGE shadow for being 6km away?

How big is this probe?

It is very hard for me to judge scale in my yard let alone on a pic from space, spatial relations is NOT my forte.

It blows my mind every time we get new photos like these that we are able rendezvous with distant objects in space.

Like hitting a bullet with a bullet at 1,000,000,000 miles, at least to me.

Thanks for the thread.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 05:47 AM
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originally posted by: Arbitrageur
I'm surprised the shadow is as visible as it is, since 6km is pretty far away and as the article mentions:

If you were standing on the surface with Rosetta high above you, there would be no place in the shadow where the entire Sun would be blocked from view, which explains why there is no fully dark core to the shadow.

The published images are contrast-stretched, so that there is a good dynamic range spanning everything from black to white. The original images are dark and dull, so the shadow would have been hard to differentiate.

If we compare this with the Moon's shadow during a solar eclipse, what you're seeing is a combination ofpenumbra and antumbra.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 06:41 AM
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originally posted by: InverseLookingGlass
a reply to: wildespace

Where are the gas jets from the sub-surface ice? Shouldn't those or evidence of that dynamic be showing? /sarc off.

Keep in mind the true color is darker than coal and the density is less than liquid water....

I'll disclose my leading theory again for the record... it's pumice with volatile gas in the bubbles. Like a piece of molten silicate rock that cooled very quickly. The rock electrically erodes and frees the gas. Stay tuned and shred my hypothesis if it's proved wrong.


Do you mean these jets?


Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA


Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM


Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM


Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Your theory doesn't seem to match with the spectroscopic data..


Another interesting result based on these infrared observations concerns the discovery of macromolecular organic compounds over the entire surface of the comet's nucleus. Some of these compounds are similar to the carboxylic acids – or actually to polymers of carboxylic acids – that are present in amino acids.

While amino acids were already observed in cometary materials and in primordial meteorites, this is the first time that such compounds are directly observed on the surface of a comet nucleus. In addition, the global distribution of such compounds on the surface suggests that they were abundant in the material that assembled to build up the nucleus of the comet.

“The formation of such compounds requires the presence of ices of volatile molecules such as methanol, methane or carbon monoxide, which only freeze at very low temperatures,” explains Capaccioni. “Therefore, these compounds must have formed at large distances from the Sun, during the early stages of the build up of the Solar System. This suggests that we are facing a comet that locks up, in its interior, traces of primordial chemical compounds that date back to the formation of our Solar System, or possibly to an even earlier epoch.”
blogs.esa.int...



As reported previously in this blog, even though the comet is still more than 400 million kilometres from the Sun, the mixture of molecules detected in the comet’s coma is surprisingly rich already. Before arriving at 67P/C-G, the ROSINA team thought that at these vast distances from the Sun, its relatively low intensity would only release the most volatile molecules via sublimation, namely carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.

However, ROSINA has detected many more molecules. Indeed, as of our 11 September report, ROSINA’s inventory of detected gases 67P/C-G looked like this:

Water (H2O)
Carbon monoxide (CO)
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
Ammonia (NH3)
Methane (CH4)
Methanol (CH3OH)

But today we can report that the following have also been detected:

Formaldehyde (CH2O)
Hydrogen sulphide (H2S)
Hydrogen cyanide (HCN)
Sulphur dioxide (SO2)
Carbon disulphide (CS2)
blogs.esa.int...



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:28 AM
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stosh64

Like hitting a bullet with a bullet at 1,000,000,000 miles, at least to me.

I don't think anybody was aiming, though. It was an accident, a very lucky one.

agentsmith
My hat, Mr Smith, is off to you. Brilliant post, and the information contained therein is nothing short of staggering. I had missed the memo on this one.


edit on 4/3/15 by Astyanax because: of birds. Stones.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:37 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax

Like hitting a bullet with a bullet at 1,000,000,000 miles, at least to me.

I don't think anybody was aiming. It was an accident, a very lucky one.


You're joking right? I actually can't tell when some people are.

Anyway, it's the Flight Dynamics team that are responsible for calculating the trajectories. In this case the 10 year journey by Rosetta to intercept the comet.

An incredibly simplified animation showing a broad overview of the manoeuvres here:




edit on 4-3-2015 by AgentSmith because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: wildespace




All I can say is - wow!



May I ask why is that such a wow moment ?

Shadows...are...you know...normal.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:09 AM
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a reply to: AgentSmith

Thanks for that video. And that was just a 2d representation. Add another dimension to the equation and I feel like I am a single celled amoeba mentally trying to figure out what that bright light is coming from the microscope.

These guys are amazing to me and I am always blown away at their ability to pull these things off and make it look routine.

I will go back to playing with wood now and try and keep the drool wiped from my chin.




posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: AgentSmith


You're joking right? I actually can't tell when some people are.

No, not joking. I am respectfully aware of what incredible feats of navigational accuracy are involved in getting any spacecraft anywhere, and particularly on this voyage. I mean the photo was probably an accident; Rosetta wasn't actually aiming to take a shadow selfie, it was just making a photographic survey of the comet.


edit on 4/3/15 by Astyanax because: clarity.



posted on Mar, 4 2015 @ 08:35 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
a reply to: AgentSmith


You're joking right? I actually can't tell when some people are.

No, not joking. I am respectfully aware of what incredible feats of navigational accuracy are involved in getting any spacecraft anywhere, and particularly on this voyage. I mean the photo was probably an accident; Rosetta wasn't actually aiming to take a shadow selfie, it was just making a photographic survey of the comet.



Oh sorry! Yes that was I think. I thought you meant the interception of the comet! :-D

Edit to add:

(as the poster you replied to was referring to the interception of the comet I believe, rather than the shadow)
edit on 4-3-2015 by AgentSmith because: (no reason given)



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