Rosetta’s ongoing science


Five years after Philae landed on comet 67P the Rosetta mission is the gift that keeps
on giving Scientists are still analysing data from its
instruments and delivering data to an archive as a resource for the future This includes data on comet 67P’s diverse landscape coma and plasma the ionised gas coming off the comet Regarding the plasma we were very surprised how different comet 67P and its environment is from all the comets that we have visited before So basically what we are looking at with the plasma is an interaction between the solar wind which is a magnetic field and charged particles and the charged particles that are developing around the comet, right So you start off with a neutral gas you ionise it and these particles interact with the solar wind From our previous experiences the number of particles was very high but with Rosetta it actually wasn’t So I think, the biggest surprise was that basically a lot of our predictions were wrong But this is good because then the data tells us maybe you’re missing something You missed including this process in your models and now we’ve had time to include these
processes in our models and improve our science that we get out of it and I think that was the most fun part as well of doing the science with Rosetta The ROSINA instrument a spectrometer for Ion and Neutral Analysis examined the composition of the comet’s atmosphere
and ionosphere and investigated the gasses coming off the comet It discovered organic molecules and a complex form of carbon in a series of important findings The first one was the deuterated water So we showed that the terrestrial water cannot come at least the bulk of terrestrial water cannot have come from comets Then certainly the oxygen, the O2 which was completely unexpected and which points to a primordial origin in
pre-solar O2 and probably many other species as well Then we have found the noble gases especially xenon isotopes which tell us that probably the terrestrial atmosphere got some cometary material because the xenon in the comet and our atmosphere are similar and from that we can calculate how many comets probably
hit the Earth and how much organics were brought by comets
to the Earth And that’s a lot It’s really a whole lot of organics and this could have sparked life on Earth Comet 67P orbits the Sun every six and a half years so it will be observed again, from Earth,
in late 2021 And this led scientists to consider something new What this inspired us to think about is about how can we see an even more how we can really get a pristine comet how can we what a comet looks like before
it meets the Sun and that’s led us to propose this new mission
which we now have Comet Interceptor which is a different type of mission entirely
from Rosetta It is a fast flyby mission so we don’t orbit the comet we don’t stay and follow it We encounter a comet at high speed fly past it and get all of the data we can
in only a few hours Comet Interceptor will target a new comet that has never entered our Solar System before It could also examine something like Oumuamua Discovered in 2017 it is the first known interstellar object
to have visited our Solar System And so Rosetta’s ongoing legacy will inspire yet more scientific discoveries
in the future

8 Comments

  1. Maximilian F said:

    Why am I so fast?

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  2. Ganna Vinzor said:

    Very interesting.

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  3. cn 250 said:

    Bet you wish you could steal 10 billion from taxpayers like NASA did with WEBB

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  4. The Big Picture said:

    Brilliant science with some very interesting implications.

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  5. Maria da Luz Moutinho said:

    As informações que a Roseta faz do cometa espantou os cientistas …tal como nos simples curiosos destas aventuras científicas!! A realidade importante que se baseia na observação directa dos fenómenos e tudo graças a estas máquinas!! Fica a experiência para novas missões a cometas com outros pontos de evolução dando a conhecer melhor as suas características, a sua origem…Se no bico de um lápis existem centenas de milhares de milhões de carbono que fará um cometa? E deveras fascinante este acontecimento…

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  6. jack flak said:

    Baby has a ticket to ride man…. My hero…

    November 12, 2019
    Reply
  7. David Duvall said:

    I am so glad that I got to follow the Rosetta Mission from its initial planning stages all of the way to the present . Watching the live video feed of the Rosetta team waiting and watching the monitors and the excitement at each successful moment took me back to my youth when I watched the first man step foot on the moon (Yes, I'm old). When it came to our prior understanding of comets, this mission made me say, "We were right but, we were also wrong!" many times. In this video you could see the emotional excitement of the scientists as they discussed the science that they (we) learned from the Rosetta Mission. Thank you ESA and the scientists in this video.

    November 13, 2019
    Reply
  8. Rat 1 said:

    Can we have a update on the 3d printed moon base?

    November 13, 2019
    Reply

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