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Rosetta Update: Comet 67P Perihelion

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reached its perihelion August 13, the point in its orbit at which it is closest to the Sun.

Rosetta had already captured images of increased activity, including an outurst so strong that it pushed the incoming solar wind away from the comet's nucleus!

More activity is expected over the coming weeks, as the increase in solar energy will warm the ice of 67P.

Outburst_in_actionImage copyright ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA.

A short-lived outburst from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was captured by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 29 July 2015. The image at left was taken at 13:06 GMT and does not show any visible signs of the jet. It is very strong in the middle image captured at 13:24 GMT. Residual traces of activity are only very faintly visible in the final image taken at 13:42 GMT.

The images were taken from a distance of 186 km from the centre of the comet. The jet is estimated to have a minimum speed of 10 m/s and originates from a location on the comet’s neck, in the rugged Anuket region.

Read more, and see full-sized images here!