Rosetta’s Comet Keeps On Jetting Even After the Sun Goes Down

OSIRIS image of 67P/C-G from April 25, 2015

OSIRIS image of 67P/C-G from April 25, 2015 (Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA)

67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko certainly isn’t a comet that dreads sundown. Images acquired by the OSIRIS instrument aboard ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft in April 2015 reveal that some of the comet’s dust jets keep on firing even after the Sun has “set” across those regions. This shows that, as the comet continues to approach its August perihelion date, it’s now receiving enough solar radiation to warm deeper subsurface materials.

“Only recently have we begun to observe dust jets persisting even after sunset,” said OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.

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© Jason Major for Universe Today, 2015. |
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