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Scientists Unexpectedly Find and Recover Rosetta’s Final Image

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Winston

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https://gizmodo.com/scientists-unexpectedly-find-rosetta-s-final-image-of-c-1818966894

“The last complete image transmitted from Rosetta was the final one that we saw arriving back on Earth in one piece moments before the touchdown,” said Holger Sierks, principal investigator for the OSIRIS camera at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, in a statement. “Later, we found a few telemetry packets on our server and thought, wow, that could be another image.”

Rosetta’s (recently discovered) final image was taken a distance between 55 to 65 feet (17 to 20 meters), which corresponds to a 10-square-foot (one-square-meter) region on the comet surface. That’s pretty close! At that distance, Rosetta’s camera couldn’t really focus (it wasn’t designed for that), so the final picture would have been blurry to begin with.


 

cherokeej

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That's pretty cool. The surface of a comet.

I want to meet the people that did the math. How the hell do you catch a comet? Same with the New Horizons probe... Who did the math there?

Little like center-punching a rolling dime from a hundred miles with a spit wad. And they nailed it.
 

RIB

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Perhaps it was the Hidden Figures crew?
 

gjxj

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That's pretty cool. The surface of a comet.

I want to meet the people that did the math. How the hell do you catch a comet? Same with the New Horizons probe... Who did the math there?
There is a great documentary out there on new horizons (sorry don't know what its called). Its really fascinating because the orbit of Pluto was not known with sufficient precision at the time it was launched. (Realize Pluto has not yet completed one orbit since its discovery). They had to dig through piles of vintage observatory data to work it out and tune the spacecraft trajectory on the fly.
 

Winston

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There is a great documentary out there on new horizons (sorry don't know what its called). Its really fascinating because the orbit of Pluto was not known with sufficient precision at the time it was launched. (Realize Pluto has not yet completed one orbit since its discovery). They had to dig through piles of vintage observatory data to work it out and tune the spacecraft trajectory on the fly.
I saw that although there have been a number of New Horizons documentaries and I don't recall which one that was in. They had to look at a bunch of old photographic plates. It's amazing that they pulled this mission off. The degree of accuracy required to navigate as accurately as they needed to and then pan the spacecraft perfectly to prevent motion blur as they passed by is amazing.
 

Winston

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Rosetta's Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
4.5-billion-year-old ice on comet 'fluffier than cappuccino froth'

- Reconstruction of second surface contact by Rosetta's Philae lander during unplanned 'hopping' in November 2014 before its final 'touchdown'.
- The probe, rotating like a windmill, scraped a furrow in a highly porous, dark rocky area made of ice and dust on comet 67P, exposing 4.5-billion-year-old ice.
- The ice has very weak internal cohesion and a consistency that is fluffier than cappuccino froth.



After years of detective work, scientists working on the European Space Agency (ESA) Rosetta mission have now been able to locate where the Philae lander made its second and penultimate contact with the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014, before finally coming to a halt 30 metres away.

Analysis of the data revealed that Philae had spent almost two full minutes – not unusual in this very low gravity environment – at the second surface contact point, making at least four different surface contacts as the lander 'ploughed' through the rugged landscape. A particularly remarkable imprint, which became visible in the images, was made when the top of Philae sank 25 centimetres into the ice at the side of an open crevice, leaving visible traces of the sample drill and the lander’s top. The peaks in the magnetic field data resulting from the boom movement show that Philae took three seconds to make this particular 'dent'.
 
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