Space & Astronomy
Rosetta records comet fireworks display
By T.K. Randall
August 12, 2015 · 8 comments
Rosetta photographed this outburst of gas and dust from the comet. Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta
The Rosetta spacecraft has captured the moment a dramatic jet of dust and gas erupted from comet 67P.
The comet, which has been a topic of great interest since Rosetta arrived there last year, is now reaching its perihelion - the closest point to the sun in its 6.5-year orbit around it.
In addition to providing the probe with a wealth of new information, the comet's proximity to the sun has already yielded some spectacular images courtesy of its surface heating up and changing.
Ice that had previously remained hidden in the shadows has warmed up and turned in to gas, a process that has resulted in impressive jets of gas and dust blasting off in to space.
One such event took place on Thursday with the probe returning three images of what scientists have described as "an outburst so powerful that it even pushed away the incoming solar wind".
| Comments (8)