Goosebumps And Gas: New Data From Rosetta Probe Describes Comet
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the hurtling hunk of dust and ice that's being tailed by an Earth-made space probe as it hurtles toward the sun,
We're learning more about the comet that a European Space Agency paired up with its Rosetta probe, thanks to a special issue of the journal Science that collects much of the information scientists have been able to glean from about the comet.
The probe met up with the 2.5-mile-wide comet last August; it sent a lander to the rocky surface in November. And now the probe is hitching a ride back toward Earth, observing the comet as it gets closer to the sun.
The ESA predicts, "the Rosetta mission should become the key to unlocking the history and evolution of our Solar System."
Here's a roundup of the new research about Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko:
Researchers are hoping to learn new things about Comet 67P as it nears the sun. The comet will make its closest approach on Aug. 13, between the orbits of Earth and Mars.
"We have already learned a lot in the few months we have been alongside the comet," says Matt Taylor, ESA's Rosetta project scientist, "but as more and more data are collected and analyzed from this close study of the comet we hope to answer many key questions about its origin and evolution."
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