Rosetta has imaged the smallest grains of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko’s dust yet, with its Micro-Imaging Dust Analysis System, MIDAS. The three-dimensional nature of five representative dust particles is visualised in this animation. It shows the complexity of the shapes of the dust particles, which are in turn made up of smaller and smaller dust grains.
In general, the particles are either classified as small, tightly packed ‘compact’ grains or larger more porous, loosely arranged ‘fluffy’ grains.
But, even though it may appear like we are flying over of a mountain range in this animation, these particles are extremely small: they range from a few tens of micrometres down to just a few hundred nanometres.
Find out more: Imaging tiny comet dust in 3D