Rosetta’s Comet Really “Blows Up” in Latest Images
Jet activity on Comet 67P/C-G imaged on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, 2015. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0. Edit by Jason Major.
First off, no, comet 67p/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is not about to explode or disintegrate. But as it steadily gets nearer to the Sun the comet’s jets are getting more and more active, and they’re putting on quite a show for the orbiting Rosetta spacecraft!
The images above were captured by Rosetta’s NavCam on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3 from a distance of about 28 km (17 miles). Each is a mosaic of four separate NavCam acquisitions and they have been adjusted and tinted in Photoshop by yours truly to further enhance the jets’ visibility. (You can view the original image mosaics and source frames here and here.)
These dramatic views are just a hint at what’s in store; 67P’s activity will only be increasing in the coming weeks and months and, this weekend, Rosetta will be swooping down for a super close pass over its surface!
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