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Astonishing new image from Rosetta ... !


Steve Ward
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The 3D image is sooooooo impressive if your wear those daft green and red specs, have recently taken your medication and are stuck with a back problem so you can't get the obsy roof open. This really looks like a "full-up mission" that has hit the pay-dirt after several trips round the block.

P

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Wow, what an incredible image. Comets are often described as 'dirty snowballs', it does not look like that to me,

I just hope that the Rosetta lander, Philae, is able to attach itself to the surface OK, survives to journey around the sun and gets good data. This is so risky, fingers crossed. 

Edited by reddoss
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It just gets more amazing as you look at it. Those rocks that appear to have fallen from the cliffs into the valley, I wonder how slowly they fall in the tiny gravity the comet has. And will they have bounced around? It just lets your imagination run riot doesn't it.

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Don't jump too hard, not sure of the escape velocity but you may have a long wait to get your feet back on comet-firma ;)

There's quite an interesting presentation on the physics of landing Philae at http://www.simpack.com/fileadmin/simpack/doc/usermeeting04/um04_maxplanck_hilch.pdf

Though even if the lander fails to hold on, the science return on the mission looks very impressive so far.

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Going back to the original image, there is an incredible amount of structure within the exposed outcrops.   In the centre there are a series of parallel faults or striations running down into  the goosneck, an almost horizontal series of planes from the east of view and to the west a sculptured edge that appears to have cleaved along vertical plane.    From this angle it looks as if two comets have bumped and fused together with some collapse along the impact faces.    A fascinating object and considerably more feature and variation than I had expected to see - though it has no doubt had a long and violent life.

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