image 21-May-2018 08:45:31

Comet plume in context

Date: 25 October 2017
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Copyright: See below

A plume of dust from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, seen by ESA's Rosetta spacecraft on 3 July 2016, provided evidence that the outburst was powered from inside the comet, perhaps released from ancient gas vents or pockets of hidden ice.

Top left: a model of the comet highlighting the Imhotep region. An arrow indicates the basin from which the plume emerged on 3 July 2016.

Bottom left: an image of the comet, taken by Rosetta's navigation camera on 5 February 2016, showing the area more clearly.

Top right: image obtained with Rosetta's OSIRIS wide-angle camera on 3 July 2016 at 07:50 UTC, during the outburst. Beneath are two comparison images of the same region taken by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera: on the left, an image from 2 July, about 10 hours before the outburst, and on the right, the same region seen on 3 May.

Credit: Comet image (left): ESA/Rosetta/NavCam, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO; comet model: ESA; all others: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Last Update: 25 October 2017

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