Astronomy Picture of the Day
October 13, 2014

Jets' Activity on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Jets' Activity on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA and Elisabetta Bonora and Marco Faccin/Alive Universe Images for the additional process. and color.

The four images that make up this new montage of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko were taken on September 26, 2014 by the European Space Agency's (or "ESA", for short) Rosetta Philae Spacecraft. At the time, Rosetta was about 16 miles (such as approx. 25,749 Km) from the center of the Comet. In the image-mosaic, a Region of Jet Activity can be seen at the "neck" of the Comet. These Jets, originating from several discrete locations, are a product of Ices sublimating and Gases escaping from inside the Nucleus. The overlapping and slightly dissimilar angles of the four images that compose the montage are a result of the combined effect of the Comet rotating between the first and last images taken in the sequence (about 10° over 20 minutes), and the Rosetta Philae Spacecraft's movement that occurred during that same time.

Launched in March 2004, the ESA - Rosetta Philae Spacecraft was reactivated in January 2014 after a record 957 days in hibernation. Rosetta is composed of an Orbiter and a Lander. Its objectives since arriving at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko earlier this month are to study the Celestial Object up close in unprecedented detail, prepare for Landing a Probe on the Comet's Nucleus - November 2014 - and, after the landing, track the Comet's changes through the AD 2015 as it sweeps past the Sun.

This picture (which is an Original, Non Map Projected and b/w image-mosaic of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, published on the NASA - Astronomy Photojournal with the ID n. 18823) has been additionally processed, magnified to aid the visibility of the details, contrast enhanced, Gamma corrected and then colorized in Natural Colors (such as the colors that a perfect human human eye - or, even better, a CCD Camera (or an Electronic Eye) would actually perceive if someone were onboard the ESA - Rosetta Philae Spacecraft and then looked ahead, towards the Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko), by using an original technique created - and, in time, dramatically improved - by the Lunar Explorer Italia Team.

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