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The Heart of a Comet Revealed

Pardon me, but this news is just not getting nearly enough coverage.  The European Space Agency has just completed a momentous achievement.  Rosetta, ESA’s spacecraft/probe has now become the very first probe to orbit a comet.  As Rosetta approached the (terribly named comet – Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko – I say we rename it to the more aptly named – ‘Wobbling Duck’) comet it became clear that there are two main sections connected by a neck that holds it together.

To put this feat in perspective, the trip took Rosetta ten and a half years to complete.  The craft looped around the sun five times and traveled over 6.4 billion kilometers.  What is that?  Almost 3 billion miles?  The path heading towards the comet was not straight forward at all.  It required 3 gravity assist flybys of earth as well as a gravity assist of Mars as well.  The path even allowed Rosetta to swing by two different asteroids, Šteins and Lutetia, as it continued its acceleration towards Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  

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Not only is Rosetta the first successful orbiting of a comet, but later this year, Rosetta is planning to send a lander – named Philae – to the surface of the comet.  Speaking of which, here is a shot of the surface of the comet.

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2 Responses

  1. Brenda

    How has “The heart of a comet revealed” been actually revealed? Your article gives no information at all about what the title suggests. I thought I was reading a scientific find due to your opening comment. :Pardon me, but this news is just not getting nearly enough coverage.” It is not actually news that needs coverage since you have not stated anything interesting. Sorry, but I find the title of your article along with your opening comment very misleading. You must think of what your title implies and offer scientific data to support the use of this title.

    Reply
  2. Taylor

    Hahah, I’m sorry about that! I’ll try better next time. I don’t really cover science, movies more. This was a while ago, but it just was fascinating to me. So, sorry about the hyperbole. A little while later they lost the probe in a shadow, but they had hope of reconnecting… Wonder if they were able to dig like they wanted to?

    Reply

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