Spinning-top asteroids, from Rosetta to Hayabusa2 – and maybe Hera18 July 2018 As Japan’s Hayabusa2 drew closer to its target Ryugu asteroid, a strange new planetoid came into view – but one with a somewhat familiar shape. This distinct ‘spinning top’ asteroid class has been seen repeatedly in recent years, and might give a fore...
Rosetta image archive complete21 June 2018
Rosetta image archive complete21 June 2018 All high-resolution images and the underpinning data from Rosetta’s pioneering mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are now available in ESA’s archives, with the last release including the iconic images of finding lander Philae, and Rosetta’s fi...
Rosetta and Planck honoured in annual Royal Astronomical Society awards12 January 2018 ESA’s Matt Taylor has been awarded the 2018 Service Award for Geophysics by the Royal Astronomical Society for his outstanding contribution to the Rosetta mission, while the Planck mission has been honoured with the Group Achievement Award for their e...
Rosetta finds comet plume powered from below26 October 2017
Rosetta finds comet plume powered from below26 October 2017 Last year, a fountain of dust was spotted streaming from Rosetta’s comet, prompting the question: how was it powered? Scientists now suggest the outburst was driven from inside the comet, perhaps released from ancient gas vents or pockets of hidden ice.
Biomarker found in space complicates search for life on exoplanets02 October 2017 A molecule once thought to be a useful marker for life as we know it has been discovered around a young star and at a comet for the first time, suggesting these ingredients are inherited during the planet-forming phase.
Unexpected surprise: a final image from Rosetta28 September 2017
Unexpected surprise: a final image from Rosetta28 September 2017 Scientists analysing the final telemetry sent by Rosetta immediately before it shut down on the surface of the comet last year have reconstructed one last image of its touchdown site.