... this is still the best picture released to the general public :-(
No contact binary ... looks more like the entire thing is in the process of breaking apart?
Looks far less "pristine" than expected. Most surfaces appear to be young! No cratering on the "cliffs", no cratering on what looks like dusty surfaces. Some "craters" look more like "vents" than like craters?
The surface of the "cliffs" look most interesting. It seems we're somehow looking inside the comet. There's obviously a lot of tectonics going on, which is surprising - and not, considering the gravitational forces acting on the body in ... what ... at least hundreds of millions of orbital cycles the comet must have gone through in it's history.
It definitely is a binary in contact. The way i have come to this conclusion is the fact that the neck shows almost no craters at all and is the result of the slow contact process when the two major bodies got engaged and partly collapsed . Although once this was a cluster of lots of bodies a long time ago gradually joining each other and leaving scars upon scars of impact. Most of the impacts rather friendly as they mainly added up to this shape.
The fact that the comet is (perhaps) a contact binary may be a blessing. It appears to me that the narrow neck between the two lobes has collected a disproportionately high amount of the loosely consolidated material, revealing the structure of the rest of the surface in greater detail. Of course, a great deal remains to be seen in the higer resolution images to come. What an exciting time this is!
On the image from 08-08-14 released 09-08-14 there is a beautiful crater visible far down the center of the image. The colosseum in rome would fit right inside there with a bit of margin.
Right, some times the pixel-size is mentioned, so far the best pictures have about 2 by 2 meter pixel size, in feet thats about 7*7 i think, then the Osiris camera has 4 Megapixel so its easy calculation to measure the size of things even when getting closer, the best resolution from the orbiter when its just outside the geostationary distance that is 2200 m the orbiter will be just outside that distance from the gravitational center maybe a kilometer above the surface at closest position the resolution will be the size of a Big Mac or so. The lander will make pictures in far too realisticresolution to make sense once it is settled on the comet.
So, collect a heap of dry but compressed snow the size of mount Rainer or Pikes Peak or any mountain about 4km hight over the ground level, mix it up with a third of the snow mass with some mineral dust containing iron ore, carbon and other dirty minerals, never mind methane and carbon oxides and rare minerals that is of no essence for a start. The density will be about a tenth of water, thats Balsa wood, the color is about charcoal, the strength is about a pice of old bread, its rather cold but extremely dry and outside is a very good vacuum. The force of an 100 kg object as the lander or a fiction astronaut upon the surface is about the amount a beetle puts on the scale here on earth, better grab on with finger and toes into the dirt if you want to stay put, that is what the lander will do when it hits the surface in a slow drop of about 1 m/ s that is a lazy walking speed and a soft bounce into the wall, up or down is of no concern as the holding force of harpoon an snows-crews are a factor thousands fold needed to stay put.
It would be great to show scale on this rock. How big would a car, a plane or a building look on it.
Also, to explain the level of gravity.
So that the general public who does not spend their days making calculations can get an idea of what they are looking at. Not just an old rock in the garden.
Amazing to be actually looking so clearly at a piece of original pre-animated planetary material, tumbling for eons as it has. To think we are along for the ride around the sun is spectacular news, landing on it is incredibly imaginative. I hope that part is recorded. If you can share any 3d views that would be fantastic, particularly a detailed wire mesh so we can all render it. Congratulations team Europe!!! So much more worthwhile than war!
Two big lumps once joined its journey through space and decided to spin along its longest axis, that was a good idea because its lo gravity field and relative high revolving speed barely keep this lump in one piece.
The escape velocity is just under 0.5m/s and it spins at highest peak about half of this speed. But there also is clear to the eye that lots of smaller parts joined their trip during the time.