Sen: Rosetta sees comet warming up.

Rosetta’s Comet Warms Up

Rosetta’s Comet Warms Up

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 18 2015 11:30 AM

The Jets at Night Are Big and Bright (Clap Clap Clap Clap) Deep in the Heart of Comets

comet jets
Either an overexposed close-up of a comet showing jets of material, or looking into Godzilla's mouth. Take your pick.

Photo by ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

While all eyes are on Philae, the little comet lander that could, the Rosetta orbiter is still observing 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and still making discoveries about how a comet behaves. Its newest is actually very cool … or actually warm: Jets of material are now being seen blowing out from the comet even after the direct sunlight is gone. This means the comet is getting more active.

I wrote all about it for my twice-monthly column at Sen. It’s subscription only, but you’ll find lots of great stuff there, including tons of news and images you can see for free.