Rosetta: Wild Bounce at comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko


Tuesday, December 09 2014 - 12:00 pm, PST
Claudia J. Alexander
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Abstract:  Rosetta is the third cornerstone mission of the European Space Agency's (ESA) Horizon 2000 Programme. It's goals are to examine some of the original material of the solar system with a comprehensive evaluation of the minearologic, isotopic, and organic constituents of a comet; understand how the body works as a machine to absorb and re-radiate energy from the sun; and understand more about the origins of the solar system.

In this talk, I'll explain the science background of some of the mysteries of comets including pros and cons about why we think comets might have brought Earth's water, concepts regarding missing nitrogen in the outer solar system, and material the comet is made of (CAIs & IDPs). The talk will include early images of the comet's activity. I'll set the stage for the landing and walk through the 60 hours of time spent on the comet's surface. Finally I'll present an overview of initial findings.

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