Rosetta See Comet Changes.

The Rosetta spacecraft has started sending images back during comet 67P’s evolution as it passed around the sun.

A new jet issues from a fissure in the rugged, dusty surface of Rosetta's comet. Credit: ESO/Rosetta/Navcam

New jets are forming as the sun heats up the icy comet.

Side by side comparison of the two image from Dec. 9, 2014 (left) and Jan. 8, 2015. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam

Internal pressure is building up as well, causing fissures and cracks to appear, in the after and before photo above.

Four-image mosaic shows the overall view of the comet on January 22 photographed 17.4 miles (28 km) from its center. The larger of the two lobes is at left; Hapi is the smooth region at the transition between the lobes. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam

As comet 67p gets closer to the sun, more jets will be spewing forth their scientific goodies for Rosetta to examine.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko Is As Grey As Its Name Is Difficult To Pronounce.

Admittedly, my Russian is rusty, but these names, I think, even native speakers are baffled by the names.  The comet named after them is apparently as bland as it is difficult to pronounce.

comet 67P in colour

The latest image released, and the first color image, of the comet shows a dark grey mass floating in space.  The image was taken using the Osiris camera and standard astrophotography LRGB filters, or Light, Red, Green and Blue.

According to the Osiris camera team: “As it turns out, 67P looks dark grey, in reality almost as black as coal.”

The image is pretty spectacular in the scientific sense because of all the different angles and orbits that Rosetta had to do to get the images.  67P is tumbling through space as Rosetta orbits it, so the degree of difficulty in getting all the images aligned is impressive.

67P spins with a rotation period of approximately 12.4 hours and is heading toward the Sun at about 84,000 mph or 135,000 km/h (38 km/s).

My hat’s off to the Osiris team at the Max Plank institute for the good work, but, in this case, adjusting your set will have no discernible affect on your picture.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

Shed A Little Light On Philae.

Alas, Philae may be dead.

The bouncing during landing put the probe into an area that was darker than was expected and the lander only had enough power for two days.  The probe stopped working at 7:36pm Eastern Time, right about the time it going to lose touch with Earth anyway.

Although the published pictures seem to show a lot of light on the comet’s surface, the image above is closer to the actual conditions on the comet.  It is a cold, dark, distant place.

Philae dies

But it was a good two days.  The probe worked around to clock to gather all the information possible and transmit it back to Rosetta and then to Earth while it batteries slowly drained.  While technically, Philae has gone into sleep mode, unless the position of the comet changes as it approaches the Sun, the lander will not get enough sunlight to recharge it’s batteries.

All hope is not lost, and Rosetta is still gathering data, but it must have been sad to watch the slow decay of 10 years of work right before your eyes.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +, or by email.

Norman

I’m Gonna Get You!

Europe’s Rosetta comet-chasing spacecraft has started going after its target,  Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Graphic of mission

Launched back in 2004, Rosetta has taken a rather circuitous route out to its icy target. This has involved making a number of flybys of the inner planets, using their gravity to pick up sufficient speed for the eventual encounter.

ESA mission controllers started the first of ten planned manuvres to put Rosetta into orbit around 67P.  The spacecraft has sent back its first hi-res images of the comet so that planners can find a place to put down a lander.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman