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Comet 67P Fires Up Its Jets

The nucleus of comet 67P/C-G as seen by Rosetta on Jan. 31(L) and Feb. 3 (R), 2015. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0. Edited by Jason Major.

The nucleus of comet 67P/C-G as seen by Rosetta on Jan. 31(L) and Feb. 3 (R), 2015. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0. Edited by Jason Major.

And the show is on! The dramatic images above show the actively jetting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, imaged by Rosetta’s NavCam from a distance of about 28 km (17 miles). Each is a mosaic of four separate NavCam acquisitions, and I adjusted and tinted them in Photoshop to further enhance the jets’ visibility. (You can view the original image mosaics here and here.)

The small bright spots and flecks in the images are bits of icy debris and dust that have been ejected from the comet. In the second image you can see what looks like deflection of the jets from the comet’s lower lobe off the underside of the upper lobe as well as a shadow of the upper section being cast down through the reflective icy spray.

These views are just a hint at what’s in store; 67P’s jet activity will only be increasing in the coming weeks and months and, this Saturday, Rosetta will be swooping down for an extreme close pass over its surface. Luckily for us we get to experience the adventure vicariously through Rosetta!

Read the rest of this article on Universe Today.

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About Jason Major

Jason is a Rhode Island-based graphic designer, photographer, nature lover, space exploration fanatic, and coffee addict. In no particular order.

Posted on February 9, 2015, in Comets and Asteroids and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Reblogged this on Eric's Universe and commented:
    These photos of Comet 67P are so spectacular, it takes my breath away!

    Like

  2. it’s a huge mushroom with huge of power, amazing!

    Like

  1. Pingback: Comet 67P Fires Up Its Jets | Eric's Universe

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