London: Map of Rosetta's Comet help scientist deciphers its unique and multifaceted world.
The surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko could be divided into several morphologically different regions.
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at its destination in August and has been currently accompanying the comet as it progresses on its route toward the inner solar system.
Scientists have now analyzed images of the comet's surface taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, and allocated several distinct regions, each of which was defined by special morphological characteristics. This analysis provided the basis for a detailed scientific description of 67P's surface.
Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), Germany, said that they have never seen a cometary surface in such details before.
With areas dominated by cliffs, depressions, craters, boulders or even parallel grooves, 67P displays a multitude of different terrains. While some of these areas appear to be quiet, others seem to be shaped by the comet's activity. As OSIRIS images of the comet's coma indicated, the dust that 67P casts into space was emitted there.
On 13 and 14 September 2014, the maps would offer valuable insights as Rosetta's Lander Team and the Rosetta orbiter scientists gather in Toulouse to determine a primary and backup landing site from the earlier preselection of five candidates.