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Citizen scientist spots changes on Rosetta's comet

Marco Parigi • February 27, 2017

Citizen scientist and self-described "comet whisperer" Marco Parisi explains how he made a striking discovery on Comet 67P using Rosetta mission data.

Planetary discovery over the past quarter century

Steven Hauck • December 20, 2016

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of the creation of what has become one of the primary venues for the publication of research in planetary science: the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. This occasion is a good opportunity to look back at what we have learned in this era of expanded exploration and to try to take a peek at the future.

Rosetta in the Rearview: What Have We Learned?

John Noonan • November 07, 2016

Just over a month ago the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft finished its mission by spectacularly diving into the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. How did it observations influence and alter our ideas about the typical formation and lifetime of a comet?

Rosetta is gone

Emily Lakdawalla • September 30, 2016

Today there is one less spacecraft returning science data from beyond Earth. The European Space Operations Centre received the final transmission from Rosetta at 11:19 September 30, UT.

Rosetta spacecraft may be dying, but Rosetta science will go on

Emily Lakdawalla • September 29, 2016

The Rosetta mission will end tomorrow when the spacecraft impacts the comet. ESA took advantage of the presence of hundreds of members of the media to put on a showcase of Rosetta science. If there’s one thing I learned today from all the science presentations, it’s this: Rosetta data will be informing scientific work for decades to come.

Rosetta end-of-mission update

Emily Lakdawalla • September 09, 2016

The European Space Agency has shared plans for the end of the Rosetta mission scheduled for September 30, just three weeks from now. The landing site will be located on the "head" of the comet, next to a prominent pit now named Deir el-Medina.

Philae spotted on the surface of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Emily Lakdawalla • September 06, 2016

Ever since its landing, Philae has been elusive. It went silent just three days later and never returned any more science data, though it made brief contact with the orbiter last summer. Now, just a month until the planned end of the Rosetta mission, the orbiter has finally located the lander in a stunning high-resolution view of the surface.

Rosetta end-of-mission plans: Landing site, time selected

Emily Lakdawalla • July 26, 2016

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta spacecraft is nearing the end of its mission. Last week, ESA announced when and where Rosetta is going to touch down. And tomorrow, it will forever shut down the radio system intended for communicating with the silent Philae lander.

A feast of new OSIRIS photos from comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • May 11, 2016

Last week, the Rosetta mission released a large quantity of science data to the worldwide public, including photos from the mission's close observation phase and the Philae landing.

Opposition surge comet

Emily Lakdawalla • April 12, 2016

Today, the Rosetta OSIRIS team's Image of the Day is this highly unusual view of the comet with the Sun very nearly behind the spacecraft.

Running Down a Comet

Joseph Masiero • January 26, 2016

The Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope has discovered its first comet of 2016.

Worth the wait: First public release of Rosetta science camera images of comet 67P

Emily Lakdawalla • December 17, 2015

Finally! It has been a long wait, but so worth it: the Rosetta OSIRIS science camera team has delivered the first pile of data from the rendezvous with comet 67P to ESA's Planetary Science Archive. I have spent a good chunk of the last three days playing with the data, and it's spectacular.

A Rosetta OSIRIS picture of comet 67P that's only hours old

Emily Lakdawalla • December 11, 2015

ESA announced today a new website at which the OSIRIS team will now be releasing images on a regular basis -- at least one per week -- and they will be recent. Even better news, all OSIRIS data taken through September 16, 2014 has been handed to ESA and its release is expected next week.

DPS 2015: Solar System Formation

Erika Nesvold and John Debes • November 20, 2015

At the 47th Division of Planetary Systems meeting, many presentations touched on some of the most contentious and poorly known aspects of how planets form.

DPS 2015: A little science from Rosetta, beyond perihelion

Emily Lakdawalla • November 18, 2015

Updated numbers for physical properties of the comet, and a few interesting images of surface features and surface changes on Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

ESA mission updates

Emily Lakdawalla • November 04, 2015

There have been several important pieces of news about European missions in the last month: Rosetta's fate has been determined; ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter's launch is slightly delayed; and they have selected a landing site for the ExoMars rover.

Checking in on Uranus and Neptune, September 2015 edition

Emily Lakdawalla • September 22, 2015

There are no spacecraft at Uranus or Neptune, and there haven't been for 30 and 25 years, respectively. So we depend on Earth-based astronomers to monitor them, including Damian Peach.

Searching for the Origins of Earth’s Water

Van Kane • September 17, 2015

Three recently proposed low-cost space missions all aim to answer the same question: Where did Earth's abundant water come from?

How the duck got its neck: Rapid temperature changes from self-shadowing may explain 67P's unusual activity and shape

Emily Lakdawalla • September 11, 2015

When Rosetta approached comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko last summer, both its shape and its activity were surprising. It looked like two comets welded together at a skinny neck. A new paper explains how the neck may be steepening itself.

Aluminum Shapemodel of Comet 67P

Mattias Malmer • September 04, 2015

Mattias Malmer describes his MacGyver-esque process in creating a homemade aluminum version of 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

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