Part of the Imhotep region on Comet 67P/C-G - 2 July 2016
On 3 July 2016, a dust plume was spotted streaming from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P/C-G), the target of ESA's Rosetta mission. This image, taken by Rosetta's OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) Narrow Angle Camera, shows the appearance of the plume site at 21:26 UTC on 2 July 2016, about 10 hours before the outburst took place. The area of interest is the depression slightly above and to the right of the large boulder at the bottom of the frame.
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.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA