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Waspie_Dwarf

Rosetta's target is 'double' comet

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Rosetta's target is 'double' comet

Europe's Rosetta probe has acquired some sensational new images of the comet it is chasing through space.

The pictures show that 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears to be not one but two objects joined together. It is what scientists call a "contact binary".

How the comet came to take this form is unknown.

It is possible that 67P suffered a major fracture at some point in its past; it is also possible the two parts have totally different origins.

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Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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Rosetta heads for space 'rubber duck'

Europe's mission to land on a comet was always going to be difficult, but the pictures released this week of the giant ice ball illustrate just how daunting the task will be.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is far more irregular in shape than anyone imagined.

It has already been dubbed the "rubber duck" in space.

The latest pictures were acquired by the approaching Rosetta probe from a distance of about 12,000km.

Over the course of the next three weeks, the spacecraft expects to reduce that separation to less than 100km.

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