Bumpty Bump Bump From Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko



One more first for the Rosetta mission… sounds of Philae landing on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Rosetta probe to land on comet tomorrow


The SESAME-CASSE instrument sensors on the feet of the Philae lander recorded the sound at the moment of contact with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.



ESA/ATG medialab


Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is ‘singing’ to us




Philae on surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko


Listening to a comet with instruments on Rosetta:

RPC, Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium, consists of five instruments on the Rosetta orbiter that provide a wide variety of complementary information about the plasma environment surrounding Comet 67P/C-G. (Reminder: Plasma is the fourth state of matter, an electrically conductive gas that can carry magnetic fields and electrical currents.)

 Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 2.55.24 PM

Artist’s impression of the ‘singing comet’ 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam
The instruments are designed to study a number of phenomena, including: the interaction of 67P/C-G with the solar wind, a continuous stream of plasma emitted by the Sun; changes of activity on the comet; the structure and dynamics of the comet’s tenuous plasma ‘atmosphere’, known as the coma; and the physical properties of the cometary nucleus and surface.
But one observation has taken the RPC scientists somewhat by surprise. The comet seems to be emitting a ‘song’ in the form of oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet’s environment. It is being sung at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased by a factor of about 10,000.
The music was heard clearly by the magnetometer experiment (RPC-Mag) for the first time in August, when Rosetta drew to within 100 km of 67P/C-G. The scientists think it must be produced in some way by the activity of the comet, as it releases neutral particles into space where they become electrically charged due to a process called ionisation. But the precise physical mechanism behind the oscillations remains a mystery.
This is exciting because it is completely new to us. We did not expect this and we are still working to understand the physics of what is happening,” says Karl-Heinz.
The sonification of the RPC-Mag data was compiled by German composer Manuel Senfft (www.tagirijus.de).
Rossetta Blog: Claudia


Huge and bright new storms are raging on Uranus


The planet Uranus is usually relatively calm when compared to its other companion gas giants in our solar system.  Up until recently if you aimed a telescope at the distant planet you would have just observed a bland and hazy blue-green looking body without a whole lot going on.  However, lately several extremely bright and large storms have been erupting around the northern hemisphere, and 7 years later than its closest approach to the Sun when astronomers would expect any activity to occur.  Some of theses features are now even bright enough to be visible to amateur astronomers with a telescope, and this unusual activity has now sparked great interest in the unusual planet.  It is now an active topic of research to understand these new phenomena since these wild storms were first discovered by astronomer, Dr. Imke de Pater, of the University of California, Berkeley.

Read more about it here:


LATEST PHOTOS FROM Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko


European Space Agency – ESA


This unusual view takes a side-on look down the smaller lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and onto the smoother terrain of the ‘neck’ region. In the background, cliffs of the comet’s large lobe rise from the shadows, adding to the dramatic feel to this image.

This single-frame NAVCAM image measures 1024 x 1024 pixels. It was captured from a distance of 9.8 km from the centre of the comet (7.8 km from the surface) at 22:04 GMT on 23 October 2014. At this distance, the image resolution is 83.5 cm/pixel and the size of the image is 855 x 855 m.

European Space Agency – ESA


To see all of the amazing photos from Philae lander visit  http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2014/11



Rosetta Probe to Land on Comet Tomorrow

Rosetta probe to land on comet tomorrow

Tomorrow, Nov. 12, may mark the first time humans have soft-landed on a comet.  If this is successful it will be courtesy of The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft which is currently orbiting Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it speeds through space.  Rosetta will release a lander, called Philae, down to the comet’s surface tomorrow while three different space-focused organizations host Rosetta webcasts for all to watch.

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Gaia Satellite Could Detect 70,000 Exoplanets Within 10 Years

Gaia satellite

The Gaia Satellite was launched on December 19 of last year.  It’s mission:  to chart a 3D map of the  Milky Way Galaxy by surveying more than 1 billion stars.  Even though that’s just 1 percent of the stars in the galaxy, its goal is to make the largest, most precise map of where Earth dwells by observing the position of these stars 70 times over five years.  Among other things, this could result in the discovery of up to 70,000 additional alien planets.

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