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A fine collection of Rosetta images

Comet 67P/C-G

Many cool images! The Rosetta team has released a bunch of very nice images taken of Comet 67P/C-G during August when the spacecraft was flying in close. The image on the right, cropped and reduced in resolution to post here, shows the comet’s large lobe, with the narrow neck to the left. Make sure you check out the full resolution image. It was taken on August 10, 2016 from about 8 miles away, and has a resolution of less than four feet per pixel. If a person was standing there you could just see them!

What I find most fascinating is the incredible curvature of the comet’s surface. The smooth area on the left, dubbed Imhotep (images of which have been posted here previously), has several big boulders on its flat surface. If you stood there, the ground would be down and horizontal. Walk only a short distance and you quickly reach the curving horizon and that flat area would look like a steep slope dropping down behind you. Yet, the boulders do not roll down hill! Walk a short distance more and you begin to enter the neck region, with giant walls rising above you, until you start to walk up them and they become the floor!

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

 
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

5 comments

  • Dick Eagleson

    Make a heck of a walking tour if there was any gravity to speak of.

  • Localfluff

    Petit Prince’s world exists for real!
    If it had substantial gravity, as if it was made out of solid gold, one would still land softly on the side of the cliff one fell off from. The wall would be the new ground to stand on. I hope I live to see astronauts hoover at the moons of Mars. Milligravity will be a new experience. The universe is a weird place.

  • wayne

    correct me if I’m mistaken– Wikipedia has the escape-velocity listed as “roughly 1 meter/sec.”
    You could practically jump off this Comet– is that a fair statement? (I’m thinking the trouble they had actually landing the lander, without it bouncing off into space.)

  • Localfluff

    Wayne,
    Yes you could easily jump off it. Off of that P69 comet.
    From Deimos and Phobos you will need some kind of gadget to get you into (a lasting) orbit. Like a bicycle. Or a pole jumping stick.

  • Localfluff

    A recent von Karman presentation about Rosetta, not archived yet but surely some day this week.
    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/lectures_archive.php?year=2016&month=8

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