ESA Science & Technology - Publication Archive
Archive intro text - publications
For all publications related to the Rosetta mission, please include the following acknowledgement:
Rosetta is an ESA mission with contributions from its Member States and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by DLR, MPS, CNES and ASI.
For papers using Rosetta mission archive data provided by the PSA (https://archives.esac.esa.int/psa/) or PDS (https://pds.nasa.gov) please acknowledge the Principal Investigator(s) as well as the ESA Planetary Science Archive and NASA PDS Planetary Data System.
To refer to this page you can use the following url: https://sci.esa.int/rosetta-publications.
A list of Rosetta publications is maintained at the ADS library by the Project Scientist: ADS Library.
Research articles and reports from the Science journal special issue, Catching a comet, in which the first results from the Rosetta orbiter instruments are reported are available (free access) here.
Research articles and reports from the Science journal special issue on Philae's first look are available (free access) here.
A special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics on Rosetta mission results pre-perihelion was published in November 2015. It is available here.
A special issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society resulting from The ESLAB 50 Symposium - spacecraft at comets from 1P/Halley to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was compiled in Autumn 2016. It is available here.
A second special issue of Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society resulting from the conference Comets: A new vision after Rosetta and Philae was compiled in Spring/Summer 2017. It is available here.
A second special issue of Astronomy & Astrophysics on Rosetta mission full comet phase results was published in September 2019. It is available here.
A list of Rosetta-related theses which have been prepared can be found here.
Aims. These signatures match the appearance of a diamagnetic cavity as was observed at comet 1P/Halley in 1986. The cavity here is more extended than previously predicted by models and features unusual magnetic field configurations, which need to be explained.
Methods. The onboard magnetometer data were analyzed in detail and used to estimate the outgassing rate. A minimum variance analysis was used to determine boundary normals.
Results. Our analysis of the data acquired by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium instrumentation confirms the existence of a diamagnetic cavity. The size is larger than predicted by simulations, however. One possible explanation are instabilities that are propagating along the cavity boundary and possibly a low magnetic pressure in the solar wind. This conclusion is supported by a change in sign of the Sun-pointing component of the magnetic field. Evidence also indicates that the cavity boundary is moving with variable velocities ranging from 230 − 500 m/s.
Published online 11 February 2016
Context. Dust jets (i.e., fuzzy collimated streams of cometary material arising from the nucleus) have been observed in situ on all comets since the Giotto mission flew by comet 1P/Halley in 1986, and yet their formation mechanism remains unknown. Several solutions have been proposed involving either specific properties of the active areas or the local topography to create and focus the gas and dust flows. While the nucleus morphology seems to be responsible for the larger features, high resolution imagery has shown that broad streams are composed of many smaller jets (a few meters wide) that connect directly to the nucleus surface.
Aims. We monitored these jets at high resolution and over several months to understand what the physical processes are that drive their formation and how this affects the surface.
Methods. Using many images of the same areas with different viewing angles, we performed a 3-dimensional reconstruction of collimated jets and linked them precisely to their sources on the nucleus.
Results. We show here observational evidence that the northern hemisphere jets of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko arise from areas with sharp topographic changes and describe the physical processes involved. We propose a model in which active cliffs are the main source of jet-like features and therefore of the regions eroding the fastest on comets. We suggest that this is a common mechanism taking place on all comets.
Aims. We derive for the first time the size-frequency distribution of boulders on a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P), computed from the images taken by the Rosetta/OSIRIS imaging system. We highlight the possible physical processes that lead to these boulder size distributions.
Methods. We used images acquired by the OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera, NAC, on 5 and 6 August 2014. The scale of these images (2.44−2.03 m/px) is such that boulders ≥7 m can be identified and manually extracted from the datasets with the software ArcGIS. We derived both global and localized size-frequency distributions. The three-pixel sampling detection, coupled with the favorable shadowing of the surface (observation phase angle ranging from 48° to 53°), enables unequivocally detecting boulders scattered all over the illuminated side of 67P.
Results. We identify 3546 boulders larger than 7 m on the imaged surface (36.4 km²), with a global number density of nearly 100/km² and a cumulative size-frequency distribution represented by a power-law with index of -3.6 +0.2/-0.3. The two lobes of 67P appear to have slightly different distributions, with an index of -3.5 +0.2/-0.3 for the main lobe (body) and -4.0 +0.3/-0.2 for the small lobe (head). The steeper distribution of the small lobe might be due to a more pervasive fracturing. The difference of the distribution for the connecting region (neck) is much more significant, with an index value of -2.2 +0.2/-0.2. We propose that the boulder field located in the neck area is the result of blocks falling from the contiguous Hathor cliff.
[Remainder of abstract truncated due to character limitations]
Context. Here we describe a new model of the dust streams of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko that has been developed using the Interplanetary Meteoroid Environment for Exploration (IMEX). This is a new universal model for recently created cometary meteoroid streams in the inner solar system.
Aims. The model can be used to investigate characteristics of cometary trails: here we describe the model and apply it to the trail of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to develop our understanding of the trail and assess the reliability of the model.
Methods. Our IMEX model provides trajectories for a large number of dust particles released from ~400 short-period comets. We use this to generate optical depth profiles of the dust trail of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and compare these to Spitzer observations of the trail of this comet from 2004 and 2006.
Results. We find that our model can match the observed trails if we use very low ejection velocities, a differential size distribution index of α ≈ -3.7, and a dust production rate of 300–500 kg s-1 at perihelion. The trail is dominated by mm-sized particles and can contain a large proportion of dust produced before the most recent apparition. We demonstrate the strength of IMEX in providing time-resolved histories of meteoroid streams. We find that the passage of Mars through the stream in 2062 creates visible gaps. This indicates the utility of this model in providing insight into the dynamical evolution of streams and trails, as well as impact hazard assessment for spacecraft on interplanetary missions.
First published online 28 September 2015The factors shaping cometary nuclei are still largely unknown, but could be the result of concurrent effects of evolutionary and primordial processes. The peculiar bilobed shape of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko may be the result of the fusion of two objects that were once separate or the result of a localized excavation by outgassing at the interface between the two lobes. Here we report that the comet's major lobe is enveloped by a nearly continuous set of strata, up to 650 metres thick, which are independent of an analogous stratified envelope on the minor lobe. Gravity vectors computed for the two lobes separately are closer to perpendicular to the strata than those calculated for the entire nucleus and adjacent to the neck separating the two lobes. Therefore comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is an accreted body of two distinct objects with 'onion-like' stratification, which formed before they merged. We conclude that gentle, low-velocity collisions occurred between two fully formed kilometre-sized cometesimals in the early stages of the Solar System. The notable structural similarities between the two lobes of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko indicate that the early-forming cometesimals experienced similar primordial stratified accretion, even though they formed independently.
Published online 14 April 2015 in Science ExpressKnowledge of the magnetization of planetary bodies constrains their origin and evolution, as well as the conditions in the solar nebular at that time. Based on magnetic field measurements during the descent and subsequent multiple touchdown of the Rosetta lander Philae on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we show that no global magnetic field was detected within the limitations of analysis. The ROMAP suite of sensors measured an upper magnetic field magnitude of less than 2 nT at the cometary surface at multiple locations with the upper specific magnetic moment being < 3.1·10-5 Am2/kg for meter-size homogeneous magnetized boulders. The maximum dipole moment of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is 1.6·108 Am2. We conclude that on the meter-scale, magnetic alignment in the pre-planetary nebula is of minor importance.
Rosetta is ESA's comet-chasing mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Launched on 2 March 2004, the spacecraft travelled for 10 years and required three gravity-assist flybys at Earth and one at Mars before homing in on its target.
Comets are time capsules containing primitive material left over from the epoch when the Sun and its planets formed. By studying the gas, dust and structure of the nucleus and organic materials associated with the comet, via both remote and in situ observations, the Rosetta mission could be the key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System.
Table of contents:
- Europe's comet-chaser
- The long trek
- A human endeavour
- Rendezvous with a comet
- Pull-out poster: Rosetta mission selfie
- Landing on a comet
- The Rosetta orbiter
- The Philae lander
- Getting to know the comet
- An evolving story
- An international enterprise
- Join the adventure