Space highlights of 2015 – Comet 67/P

Here’s the fourth of five short posts that count down to ESA Astronaut Tim Peake’s blast off to the International Space Station on 15 December. The five posts double up as my Space highlights for 2015…

(#2) Comet 67/P

OK so Comet 67/P was 2014’s Space highlight… indeed, the decade-long Rosetta mission part inspired my concept and storyline for my debut novel. Even the bumpy arrival of Rosetta’s lander, Philae, on the surface of 67/P in late 2014 influenced my drafting of that debut.

However bumpy, the landing was just the beginning. Like all good science, this slice of Space science is bubbling along through an ongoing process. So this year the storyline of Comet 67/P has steadily built through a drip feed of data and spectacular imagery…

67P esa Interactive Tool.Capture
A still frame from ESA’s interactive tool, showing the position of the Rosetta space craft relative to Comet 67/P when its remarkable images were captured.

The next release of images is anticipated for late January 2016 and ought to include data from Rosetta’s close observation phase, when the spacecraft was just 10 km from the comet, as well as imagery from the comet landing itself.


 

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