Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ice on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Ice on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Examples of six different bright patches identified on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in OSIRIS narrow-angle camera images acquired in September 2014. The insets point to the broad regions in which they were discovered (not to specific locations). In total, 120 bright regions, including clusters of bright features, isolated features and individual boulders, were identified in images acquired during September 2014 when the spacecraft was between 20-50 km from the comet centre.

On the left hand side of the image a boulder with icy patches in Hatmehit (top) a cluster of icy features in Imhotep (middle) and a cluster in Khepry (bottom) is presented; on the right hand side a cluster in Anuket (top), a bright feature in Imhotep (middle) and a cluster close to the Khepry-Imhotep boundary (bottom) is shown.

The false colour images are red-green-blue composites assembled from monochrome images taken at different times and have been stretched and slightly saturated to emphasis the contrasts of colour such that dark terrains appear redder and bright regions appear significantly bluer compared with what the human eye would normally see. This imaging technique allows scientists to determine more about the nature of the material; in this case the bluer colour indicates the presence of ice.

Full story: Exposed water ice detected on comet’s surface

Source: ESA