The comet that Rosetta will orbit is getting stranger and stranger, with new images suggesting that it is really two objects stuck together.
The pictures show that 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko appears to be not one but two objects joined together. It is what scientists call a “contact binary”. How the comet came to take this form is unknown. It is possible that 67P suffered a major fracture at some point in its past; it is also possible the two parts have totally different origins.
What is clear is that the European Space Agency (Esa) mission team now has additional and unexpected considerations as it plans how to land on the comet later this year – not least, which part of the comet should be chosen for contact?