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Rosetta`s target comet has a double nucleus

Last Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 19:46

London: Destination of ESA`s spacecraft Rosetta, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, is a twofold comet as seen in the images obtained by OSIRIS, the onboard scientific imaging system recently.

Holger Sierks, OSIRIS Principal Investigator, said that the distance still separating Rosetta from 67P was now far from astronomical and it`s a trip of less than 12000 kilometers.

Rosetta`s camera OSIRIS has been doing a great job at catching ever clearer glimpses of its similarly sized destination. Images obtained on July 14th clearly showed a tantalizing shape of the comet as the nucleus consists of two distinctly separated parts.
The scientists hope to determine more soon about the comet`s physical and mineralogical properties, which could help decide, whether the comet`s body and head were formerly two individual bodies.
Carsten Guttler, OSIRIS project manager, said that there was still uncertainty in these processed, filtered images and the surface would not be as smooth as it now appears but it would help them get a first idea.

First Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014 - 19:46

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