Thursday, July 17, 2014

UPDATED 2-for-1 With Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Hey Space Placers!

UPDATED: Be sure to check out NASA's perspective on 67/P.

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta mission to Comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67/P) is slowly cruising to a rendezvous in a few weeks. ESA mission planners expect the Rosetta spacecraft with the Philae lander to be within 100 km (60+ miles) of the comet on August 6th. Current plans are for the Philae lander to touchdown in November 2014.

But a BIG surprise greeted mission planners and all of us who follow the mission when the latest imagery showed the nucleus - the dirty snowball heart of the comet - to be not one, but apparently TWO nuclei. 

67/P is certainly unlike any cometary nucleus that has been encountered. As Rosetta gets closer each day better images will provide more information and the rendezvous will certainly be something to see - wow!

We'll have more on this mission as Rosetta/Philae get closer to 67/P.

Sky Guy in VA

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