ESA Science & Technology - News Archive
Scientists analysing the treasure trove of images taken by ESA's Rosetta mission have turned up more evidence for curious bouncing boulders and dramatic cliff collapses.
Published: 18 September 2019
Feeling stressed? You're not alone. ESA's Rosetta mission has revealed that geological stress arising from the shape of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has been a key process in sculpting the comet's surface and interior following its formation.
Published: 18 February 2019
A special visitor is crossing the sky: Comet 46P/Wirtanen, sighted with telescopes and binoculars in recent weeks, is on the way to its closest approach to Earth this weekend, when it might become visible to the naked eye.
Published: 14 December 2018
A new study reveals that, contrary to first impressions, Rosetta did detect signs of an infant bow shock at the comet it explored for two years – the first ever seen forming anywhere in the Solar System.
Published: 12 December 2018
All high-resolution images and the underpinning data from Rosetta's pioneering mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are now available in ESA's archives, with the last release including the iconic images of finding lander Philae, and Rosetta's final descent to the comet's surface.
Published: 21 June 2018
ESA’s Matt Taylor has been awarded the 2018 Service Award for Geophysics by the Royal Astronomical Society for his outstanding contribution to the Rosetta mission, while the Planck mission has been honoured with the Group Achievement Award for their extraordinary achievements in cosmology.
Published: 12 January 2018
Last year, a fountain of dust was spotted streaming from Rosetta's comet, prompting the question: how was it powered? Scientists now suggest the outburst was driven from inside the comet, perhaps released from ancient gas vents or pockets of hidden ice.
Published: 26 October 2017
A molecule once thought to be a useful marker for life as we know it has been discovered around a young star and at a comet for the first time, suggesting these ingredients are inherited during the planet-forming phase.
Published: 2 October 2017
Scientists analysing the final telemetry sent by Rosetta immediately before it shut down on the surface of the comet last year have reconstructed one last image of its touchdown site.
Published: 28 September 2017
The challenging detection, by ESA's Rosetta mission, of several isotopes of the noble gas xenon at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has established the first quantitative link between comets and the atmosphere of Earth.
Published: 8 June 2017
Rosetta's pioneering mission to explore a comet in unprecedented detail completed operations last year. As the science continues, members of the public, as well as scientists, can freely access hundreds of papers that reveal the comet's secrets. A special issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society is the latest journal to provide...
Published: 4 April 2017
Growing fractures, collapsing cliffs, rolling boulders and moving material burying some features on the comet's surface while exhuming others are among the remarkable changes documented during Rosetta's mission.
Published: 21 March 2017
Rosetta scientists have made the first compelling link between an outburst of dust and gas and the collapse of a prominent cliff, which also exposed the pristine, icy interior of the comet.
Published: 21 March 2017
On 30 September 2016, at 11:19:37 UTC in ESA's mission control, Rosetta's signal flat-lined, confirming that the spacecraft had completed its incredible mission on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko some 40 minutes earlier and 720 million km from Earth.
Published: 15 December 2016
As Rosetta's comet approached its most active period last year, the spacecraft spotted carbon dioxide ice – never before seen on a comet – followed by the emergence of two unusually large patches of water ice.
Published: 17 November 2016
During the last month of Rosetta's operations at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it was no longer possible to observe the comet with telescopes on Earth because it was too close to the Sun's position in the sky and therefore not visible in the night-time.
Published: 7 October 2016
ESA’s historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years.
Published: 30 September 2016
Over the past two years, Rosetta has kept a close eye on many properties of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, tracking how these changed along the comet's orbit. A very crucial aspect concerns how much water vapour a comet releases into space, and how the water production rate varies at different distances from the Sun.
Published: 27 September 2016
Rosetta is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of its comet on 30 September, with the end of mission confirmation predicted to be within 20 minutes of 11:20 UTC (13:20 CEST).
Published: 27 September 2016
As Rosetta began homing in on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in the weeks leading up to its arrival in August 2014, it became very clear that this was no ordinary comet. But its striking shape was only just the beginning of the comet's surprises.
Published: 26 September 2016
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