|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, February 21, 2018
|Comet surface is dark and crusty, unmanned spacecraft Rosetta suggests |
The nucleus of Rosetta's target comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko seen from a distance of 1950 km on July 29, 2014. One pixel corresponds to about 37 m in this narrow-angle camera view. The bright neck between the two lobes of the nucleus is becoming more and more distinct. Rosetta arrives at the comet at an altitude of 100 km in the first week of August, and will move progressively closer over the following two months, with the intention to orbit at an altitude of just 10 km, depending on the comets activity. For Philaes deployment in November, Rosetta will come to within a few kilometres of the surface. AFP PHOTO / ESA.
PARIS (AFP).- A European probe approaching a comet in deep space has found the body's surface to be relatively warm, suggesting it has a mostly "dark, dusty crust," mission controllers said Friday.
Thermal readings were taken by the unmanned spacecraft Rosetta as it neared Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on the final leg of a six-billion-kilometre (3.75-billion-mile), 10-year pursuit.
Using an infrared spectrometer, Rosetta scanned the comet between July 13 and 21, when the distance between them closed from 14,000 kilometres (8,750 miles) to just over 5,000 kilometres, the European Space Agency (ESA) said.
At the time, the comet was about 555 million kilometres from the Sun.
Its average temperature was minus 70 degrees Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit), the measurements found.
This may sound bitterly cold, but is in fact 20-30 degrees Celsius warmer than would have been expected if the comet had an ice-only surface, said an ESA statement.
"The temperature measurements provide direct confirmation that much of the surface must be dusty, because darker material heats up and emits heat more readily than ice when it is exposed to sunlight," it said.
Comets are believed by astrophysicists to be relics left from the building of the Solar System around 4.6 billion years ago.
Famously dubbed "dirty snowballs" by the late US astronomer Fred Whipple, they are theorised to be clusters of primeval ice and dust.
The 1.3-billion-euro ($1.8-billion) Rosetta mission aims to pierce the secrets of these wanderers, to explain their composition and the chemistry of their ancient molecules.
Launched in 2004, Rosetta should come within 100 kilometres of the comet next Wednesday.
It has spent much of the last 10 years shuttling between Earth and Mars, using the planets' gravitational force as a slingshot to build up speed for the rendezvous.
The highlight of the mission will come in November, when Rosetta drops a refrigerator-sized lab, Philae, on to the comet's surface.
Philae is designed to last for six months, but the mother ship will stay close by, orbiting around the comet as it zips around the Sun and then heads out towards the orbit of Jupiter in 2015.
The spacecraft is named after the famous stone, now in the British Museum, that explained Egyptian hieroglyphics, while Philae is named after an obelisk that in turn helped decipher the Rosetta stone.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
August 3, 2014
Museum of Human Evolution in Spain presents a sculpture representing Homo Antecessor
Comet surface is dark and crusty, unmanned spacecraft Rosetta suggests
No show for North Korean defector artist Sun Mu at Yuan Dian gallery in China
Remembering World War I: Russian tsar Nicholas II's reluctant march to war
At $100 million Skywalker Ranch in California, the 'Force' of George Lucas is everywhere
Muhammad Ali fight-worn gloves from 1971 'Fight of The Century' against Frazier bring $388,375 at auction
Tate announces new online performance for this autumn's BMW Tate Live Performance Room
Tacoma Art Museum announces Samantha Hightower as Director of Education
abc art berlin contemporary 2014, to be held at at Station at Gleisdreieck, announces artists
New York Print Week rolls out full schedule of museum shows, gallery exhibitions and satellite fairs
The Jewish Museum launches new website designed by Sagmeister & Walsh
Rarities from more than 50 countries offered in Heritage's ANA World & Ancient Coins Platinum Night Auction
Altria Group donates $1 million to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
Over $14million falls back to Queensland from Cai Guo-Qiang exhibition
Paramount apologises after Ninja Turtles poster recalls 9/11
PIASA announces inaugural Arts & Crafts Sale
University of Texas Press announces publication of Bronx Boys by Stephen Shames
Jerwood Drawing Prize 2014 selection announced
Monochromart: A new group show opens aat LAUNCH LA
Mississippi Museum of Art announces artists for 2014 Mississippi Invitational Exhibition
Groundbreaking survey from 1960s to present opens at the Walker Art Center
Saint Louis Art Museum presents 'Janaina Tschäpe: The Ocean Within'
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- The Morgan explores the Medieval world's fascinating approach to the passage of time
2.- Experts discover hidden ancient Maya structures in Guatemala
3.- Egyptian archaeologists unveil tomb of Old Kingdom priestess Hetpet
4.- The Speed Art Museum and Italian Ministry reach loan agreement on ancient calyx-krater
5.- Major exhibition features artistic masterpieces from the glorious Church of the Gesù
6.- From Beowulf to Chaucer, the British Library makes 1,000 years of rich literary history freely available online
7.- Truck damages Peru's ancient Nazca lines
8.- Trish Duebber is new Coordinator of Youth Programs at Boca Raton Museum Art School
9.- Exhibition examines the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion
10.- The Dallas Museum of Art announces gift of three major European works
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.