The nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
The nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

In 2004, The European Space Agency launched a spacecraft called Rosetta, which, after roaming the solar system for more than 10 years, matched the orbit of a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Once there, it could orbit around the small icy body, map its weird shape in great detail, and find out what it is made of. Rosetta’s instruments then studied changes in the comet as it got closer to the Sun and thus got warmer and more active.

The mission has been a remarkable success. The only major disappointment was that, rather than sticking to and drilling into the comet’s surface, its lander bounced off and finally came to rest on its side in a place where its solar panels could get little sunlight.

Some of the thousands of pictures taken by Rosetta’s cameras and some of the principal scientific results will be presented at a lecture, “Rosetta’s Remarkable Visit to a Comet,”  by space physicist Marcia Neugebauer at the Arizona Senior Academy, starting at 3:30 p.m. Thursday {June 2).

The speaker is an adjunct research scientist at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and participated in the exploration of Halley’s comet in 1986.

Written by Marcia Neugebauer, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event

Up Close and Personal With a Comet: June 2016
Tagged on: