Tag Archives: Cheops

Looking down a comet’s neck

Looking down Comet 67P/C-G's neck

Because all the focus in past two weeks has been on the attempt to land Philae on the surface of Comet 67P/C-G, no one has been paying much attention to the images that Rosetta has continued to produce. On the right however is a humdinger, released on November 17. The image looks into the neck or saddle of the comet, from the side. The giant boulder Cheops can be seen in the saddle, with a jet visible against the black sky above it.

What I like about this image is that I can imagine hiking up the sandy slope to this narrow saddle, where I could stand next to Cheops and look out at that jet. For the explorer in all of us this sure wets the appetite for the future. If only people could go and do that now!

Giant boulders on Comet 67P/C-G

Giant boulders on Comet 67P/C-G

As Rosetta has moved in on Comet 67P/C-G, engineers have focused in on its most interesting surface features, such as the nucleus’s neck as well as a collection of very large boulders on a relatively smooth area on the nucleus’s larger lobe. The biggest boulder, seen as the middlemost rock in the photo above, they have named Cheops. It is estimated to be 150 feet across with a height of about 80 feet.

It should be emphasized that calling these features boulders might actually be premature at this time.
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