image 23-October-2017 06:14:51

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 26 July 2015 (B)

Date: 11 March 2016
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

This image of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 26 July 2015 at 15:13 GMT from a distance of about 170 km.

Shortly after this image was taken, between 15:16 GMT and 15:41 GMT, the RPC-MAG magnetometer on Rosetta detected a sudden drop in the magnetic field, indicating a magnetic-field free region, or diamagnetic cavity. However, the OSIRIS images do not show any appreciable increase of outgassing over this interval of time, ruling out that a change in the comet’s activity might be linked to the formation of the cavity.

Scientists believe that a dynamic perturbation, or instability, that propagates and gets amplified along the boundary between the solar wind and the magnetic field-free cavity, caused the latter to grow in size, allowing Rosetta to detect it.

Last Update: 11 March 2016

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