A map of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

September 9, 2014 by Dr. Birgit Krummheuer
In this view of the “belly” and part of the “head” of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, several morphologically different regions are indicated. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

High-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveal a unique, multifaceted world. ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination about a month ago and is currently accompanying the comet as it progresses on its route toward the inner solar system. Scientists have now analyzed images of the comet's surface taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, and allocated several distinct regions, each of which is defined by special morphological characteristics. This analysis provides the basis for a detailed scientific description of 67P's surface. It was presented today at the European Planetary Science Congress 2014.

"Never before have we seen a cometary in such detail", says OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. In some of the images, one pixel corresponds to 75 centimeters scale on the nucleus. "It is a historic moment, we have an unprecedented resolution to map a ", he adds.

With areas dominated by cliffs, depressions, craters, boulders or even parallel grooves, 67P displays a multitude of different terrains. While some of these areas appear to be quiet, others seem to be shaped by the comet's activity. As OSIRIS images of the comet's coma indicate, the dust that 67P casts into space is emitted there.

"This first map is, of course, only the beginning of our work", says Sierks. "At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be." As both 67P and Rosetta travel closer to the Sun in the next months, the OSIRIS team will monitor the surface looking for changes. While the scientists do not expect the borderlines of the comet's regions to vary dramatically, even subtle transformations of the surface may help to explain, how cometary activity created such a breathtaking world.

Next weekend, on 13 and 14 September 2014, the maps will offer valuable insights as Rosetta's Lander Team and the Rosetta orbiter scientists gather in Toulouse to determine a primary and backup landing site from the earlier preselection of five candidates.

Jagged cliffs and prominent boulders: In this image, several of 67P’s very different surface structures become visible. The left part of the images shows the comet’s “back”, while the right is the back of its “head”. The image was taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta’s scientific imaging system, on September 5th, 2014 from a distance of 62 kilometers. One pixel corresponds to 1.1 meters. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

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. Rosetta will be the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface.

Explore further: New images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveal an irregular shape

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cantdrive85
1 / 5 (9) Sep 09, 2014
"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."


That's a falsification of the comet theory, once again it will not stop astros from rolling out their hypothetical nonsense.
Vietvet
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 09, 2014
"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."


That's a falsification of the comet theory, once again it will not stop astros from rolling out their hypothetical nonsense.


You have no clue to just how ignorant you are.
HannesAlfven
1 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2014
Re: "You have no clue to just how ignorant you are."

There's more than enough reason to question conventional cometary theory at this point. People today take it for granted that cometary observations must be interpreted from the lens of the textbook theory, and yet that approach has not actually led to any profound understanding of these objects.

At the current rate, everybody here will pass on with this sorry state of knowledge. From this perspective, I can relate to the frustration of watching science's inability to follow the cometary observations where they naturally lead. This is stereotypical bandwagon research. The theory is imposed upon the public IN SPITE of the observations.

The truly enigmatic observations which offer us important clues -- like the two separate flashes of Tempel 1 when it confronted that copper projectile -- are dismissed w/ minimal rigor, and it does indeed seem that the reason is to keep these lines of funding protected from outsider mavericks.
Noumenon
2.6 / 5 (5) Sep 10, 2014
"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."


That's a falsification of the comet theory, once again it will not stop astros from rolling out their hypothetical nonsense.


You have no clue to just how ignorant you are.


Why not post WHY you think he is wrong, rather than call names like a child, or deliver drive-by troll ratings? I don't know who is worse, the cranks, the troll-raters, or the Jerry-Springer commenters. Insults and 1-ratings are not rational arguments. Given your age from your profile pic, one would think you would know that.
SteveS
5 / 5 (5) Sep 10, 2014
Why not post WHY you think he is wrong.....


How? He made one statement without explaining WHY

That's a falsification of the comet theory.....


and made one abusive comment.

once again it will not stop astros from rolling out their hypothetical nonsense.


Under the circumstances Vietvet's response was a model of restraint
Vietvet
4 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2014
@Noumemon
Cantthinks adherence to EU proves he isn't capable of rational thought and argument. I just point that out.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2014
How? He made one statement without explaining WHY


I didn't need to, the "scientist" above said it himself;

"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."

If observation doesn't match prediction, then the hypothesis has been falsified. This is a fact, it is the basis for science. Astrophysics is one field which seems to often ignore this simple consideration.

and made one abusive comment.


Abusive? Just a little sensitive aren't we?
Vietvet
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 10, 2014
"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."

This in no way conflicts what was known about comet composition, the surprise is in the "morphological variations". No hypothesis has been falsified.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (5) Sep 11, 2014
"At this point, nobody truly understands, how the morphological variations we are currently witnessing came to be."

This in no way conflicts what was known about comet composition, the surprise is in the "morphological variations". No hypothesis has been falsified.


You're approaching Cap'n Stupid levels of ignorance. The hypothesized "dirty snowball" very definitely has an expected appearance, one which does not conform with predictions. What do mission scientists have to say about it?
"It was so surprising to see this was not a [smooth], hull-shaped body, as we've thought it'd be." Mission scientist Holger Sierks

It is much hotter than anticipated.

There is almost no water ice on the surface.

Here is an "anatomy" of a comet, looks nothing of 67P.
http://www.esa.in...phic.jpg

You keep your faith, I'll rely on science.
Vietvet
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 11, 2014
@cantthink

https://sites.goo...position

It helps if you keep up to date.

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