John Noonan is an analyst for the ESA Rosetta Alice ultraviolet spectrograph and a flight controller for the upcoming NASA CYGNSS mission. He graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder earlier this year and spent 3 years there giving talks and shows at the Fiske Planetarium on campus. His current research focuses on comets and their implications for planetary formation.
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?