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Amateur finds moon orbiting comet in Rosetta archive

In mining the Rosetta archive of images of Comet 67P/C-G, an amateur astronomer has discovered a twelve-foot-diameter chunk of material that had broken from the comet and was in orbit around it.

Modelling of the Rosetta images indicates that this object spent the first 12 hours after its ejection in an orbital path around 67P/C-G at a distance of between 2.4 and 3.9 km from the comet’s centre. Afterwards, the chunk crossed a portion of the coma, which appears very bright in the images, making it difficult to follow its path precisely; however, later observations on the opposite side of the coma confirm a detection consistent with the orbit of the chunk, providing an indication of its motion around the comet until 23 October 2015.

While it is not really unusual for their to be small objects in the coma of the the comet, orbiting it, this is apparently the largest so far found. That they missed it initially is also not surprising, considering the amount of data they were gathering in such a short time.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!

 

From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

 
Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.

 

“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.

 

All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

 

Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

2 comments

  • MDN

    Parachutes are really hard. This documentary about the Mars Exploration Rover mission recounts how they suffered a catastrophic failure in their first parachute test, and then encountered even more problems when studying fixes in a NASA wind tunnel.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpX1ST39yO0

    The test failure bit starts at 22:45, and the wind tunnel fix testing at 33:00.

    The wind tunnel they are using is the 80 X 120 at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View California. This is a wind tunnel with a test chamber that is 80 feet tall X 120 feet wide that can simulate up to about 180MHP, where they have tested things like real twin engine/70 passenger turboprop aircraft with the engines running for stability in high crosswind landing conditions (the kind of stuff you don’t want to really test in flight).

    Facilities like these are national assets that deserve a lot more recognition then they get because they just aren’t that sexy in the grand scheme of things. But for problems like this you just can’t figure it out with computer modeling and such, because parachutes live in the realm of turbulent flow, and computer codes simply suck at that, even on our most modern and largest super computers. But we’re lucky, because the Greatest Generation built this tool and many others like it, proved the value of empirical engineering with programs like Apollo, the SR-71, and countless others, and left us the tools to keep solving these problems.

  • MDN: I think you posted this comment in the wrong thread.

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