Rosetta measures its comet


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As Rosetta approaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerisimenko, it has measured the amount of water evaporating of the comet as it slowly comes to life as it approaches the Sun.

ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft has found that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second, even at a cold 583 million kilometres from the Sun. The first observations of water vapour streaming from the comet were made by the Microwave Instrument for Rosetta Orbiter, or MIRO, on 6 June, when the spacecraft was about 350 000 kilometres from the comet. Since the initial detection, water vapour has been found every time MIRO has been pointed towards the comet.

That rate of evaporation will increase with time.

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