image 25-February-2018 08:38:44

Part of the Imhotep region on Comet 67P/C-G - 3 May 2016

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

This image shows the site of a plume that occurred on 3 July 2016 on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P/C-G), the target of ESA's Rosetta mission. This view was obtained by Rosetta's OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) Narrow Angle Camera on 3 May 2016, some months before the outburst took place.

The location of the dust plume was in a depression to the left of the large boulder near the deep shadows at the top. This image is one of the best-known views of this area from this angle, and reveals some detail on the northeastern face of a 10-metre wall that runs along the edge of the depression (although it still appears largely in shadow).

The 3 July 2016 plume was especially useful from a scientific perspective. As well as observing both the site of the plume and the plume itself, Rosetta's trajectory took it through the ejected material, allowing instruments on the spacecraft to collect valuable in situ measurements. Analysis of these data indicates that some as-yet-undetermined source of subsurface energy helped to power the plume.


Last Update: 25 October 2017

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