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(European Space Agency)   The coolest photo of a comet nucleus that you will see today   (esa.int) divider line 28
    More: Cool  
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4097 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Aug 2014 at 10:02 PM (19 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2014-08-15 08:55:31 PM  
What comet? I see a couple dusty rocks.

Or a fossilized mushroom. Hard to tell scale.
 
2014-08-15 09:21:48 PM  
I've been waiting for these photos for a while, so I'll admit, it gave me half a chub. I remember staying up repeated nights with my dad when Halley's comet came through in 1986, and back then they still didn't have any confirmation about what constituted a comet's nucleus. We got no less than 100 blurry pictures of it, even with a motorized camera mount.

Of course my father was full of wisdom, so when I asked him about when it passed earth again and what it would be like, he told me "I'll be long dead, but if you're lucky your kids will have buried you someplace nice."

/always the romantic, dear old dad.
 
2014-08-15 09:55:36 PM  
Fantastic. Once again, smart people get to do all the cool stuff.
 
2014-08-15 10:11:22 PM  

ZAZ: What comet? I see a couple dusty rocks.

Or a fossilized mushroom. Hard to tell scale.


Well, comets are dusty ice/rock things, so your first impression is pretty apt.
 
2014-08-15 10:33:10 PM  
Subby is technically right, as this is the only comet nucleus I've looked at today.

Of course, this one came out a week and a half ago, and it's pretty much the same thing. Cool, but already waiting for something new. This is more or less a repeat.

www.esa.int
 
2014-08-15 10:42:03 PM  
Read an article somewhere (Slashdot??) that ESA is being a real dick and not releasing images promptly so *their* scientists could have the first crack at "making discoveries". And maybe "process" the images to cover up details so their scientists can reveal them later. Contrast this with NASA/JPL, who immediately release raw images as soon as they come in.
 
2014-08-15 10:44:33 PM  
Jam on it.
 
2014-08-15 11:45:47 PM  
i.imgur.com

That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions. (I'm a layman, not a scientician, but I scribbled this together on the cropped pic because there's no such thing as a dumb question... )

This thing's only spent about 50 years/fewer than 10 orbits that have taken it closer than 2.7AU to the Sun, so the answer to when some of these features changed may be sooner than one might ordinarily think. Best thing about this mission is that the spacecraft and lander will be along the ride through perihelion, so we might actually get to answer some of those questions in a few months' time.
 
2014-08-16 12:48:46 AM  

Mikey1969: Subby is technically right, as this is the only comet nucleus I've looked at today.

Of course, this one came out a week and a half ago, and it's pretty much the same thing. Cool, but already waiting for something new. This is more or less a repeat.

[www.esa.int image 700x525]


Well, it is the same comet, just the new picture is from a lot closer.
 
2014-08-16 12:59:09 AM  
With an escape velocity of only 1.5ft/s, an astronaut could jump from the head, over the neck, to the body. It would be a very slow and gentle jump, but it would span hundreds of feet, perhaps over 1,000! That would be so awesome.
 
2014-08-16 01:42:12 AM  

Twilight Farkle: [i.imgur.com image 640x584]

That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions. (I'm a layman, not a scientician, but I scribbled this together on the cropped pic because there's no such thing as a dumb question... )

This thing's only spent about 50 years/fewer than 10 orbits that have taken it closer than 2.7AU to the Sun, so the answer to when some of these features changed may be sooner than one might ordinarily think. Best thing about this mission is that the spacecraft and lander will be along the ride through perihelion, so we might actually get to answer some of those questions in a few months' time.


Photoshopped
 
2014-08-16 01:44:55 AM  
Looks like a space rock not a dirty snowball.
 
2014-08-16 02:29:51 AM  

Twilight Farkle: [i.imgur.com image 640x584]

That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions. (I'm a layman, not a scientician, but I scribbled this together on the cropped pic because there's no such thing as a dumb question... )

This thing's only spent about 50 years/fewer than 10 orbits that have taken it closer than 2.7AU to the Sun, so the answer to when some of these features changed may be sooner than one might ordinarily think. Best thing about this mission is that the spacecraft and lander will be along the ride through perihelion, so we might actually get to answer some of those questions in a few months' time.


When I saw what you had done my first thought was that you were going Studman69 and sharp knees on the photo, as this comet had so many flaws it was way below your standards. But then I read your text and realized I probably spend too much time farking.
 
2014-08-16 03:30:52 AM  

Mikey1969: This is more or less a repeat.


www.troll.me
 
2014-08-16 04:08:44 AM  

HighZoolander: When I saw what you had done my first thought was that you were going Studman69 and sharp knees on the photo, as this comet had so many flaws it was way below your standards. But then I read your text and realized I probably spend too much time farking.


Lulz. More like the other way around: my shoop was way below my standards.

The original is worth a look, and shows much more than my cropped version. It's the first time we've had pictures this good of a comet, and there'll be more to come. It's doubly fortunate that we have one whose orbit has been recently perturbed.

I'm using the flatter areas that have collected dust as my definition of wherever "down" happens to be pointing, and going from there. The jaggedness of the surface formations/edgy crater rim is partially caused by sublimation (the same thing happens on earth if it's dry enough, and on the comet there's practically no gravity), and the fault lines/geology running through this thing are going to be weird because (a) aforementioned ice/sublimation/melting, (b) two big lumps barely holding each other together - did they start off as one big lump that eroded, or two small lumps that collided slowly enough that they stuck together, and (c) however it formed, right now what little gravitational field it does posess is going to be weirdly shaped.
 
2014-08-16 05:29:41 AM  

Twilight Farkle: [i.imgur.com image 640x584]

That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions. (I'm a layman, not a scientician, but I scribbled this together on the cropped pic because there's no such thing as a dumb question... )

This thing's only spent about 50 years/fewer than 10 orbits that have taken it closer than 2.7AU to the Sun, so the answer to when some of these features changed may be sooner than one might ordinarily think. Best thing about this mission is that the spacecraft and lander will be along the ride through perihelion, so we might actually get to answer some of those questions in a few months' time.


Obviously bruce wilis was playin' tic tac to
 
2014-08-16 08:03:25 AM  

Tobin_Lam: With an escape velocity of only 1.5ft/s, an astronaut could jump from the head, over the neck, to the body. It would be a very slow and gentle jump, but it would span hundreds of feet, perhaps over 1,000! That would be so awesome.


More of a bouncy step then, really. Do an actual jump and you get loooooost iiiiiin spaaaaace
 
2014-08-16 08:41:14 AM  

Twilight Farkle: That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions.


At this stage in the mission, I'd be terribly, terribly disappointed if its images weren't raising lots of questions.

I was staring at that crosshatched patch, too. I see where you highlighted other faults that are parallel to one of the crosshatched directions. When I saw the scars running in the perpendicular direction, I got an immediate impression that they were scrapes.

Imagine the "head" contacting the "body" for the first time. They're probably rotating independently, and if they're coming together slowly enough to stick without disintegrating, they're going to grind against each other until friction stops their relative rotation. I picture the head rotating slowly along its "horizontal" axis (as oriented in that photo), with the body gouging those "vertical" trenches as it turns. Plausible?
 
2014-08-16 11:34:01 AM  
Is it me? or is it just crazy that we can shoot a probe at a comet, (I FREAKING COMET, hurtling through space!) and actually get there, document it and take samples.

I find this absolutely incredible.

Wow
 
2014-08-16 12:24:45 PM  

Tobin_Lam: Mikey1969: Subby is technically right, as this is the only comet nucleus I've looked at today.

Of course, this one came out a week and a half ago, and it's pretty much the same thing. Cool, but already waiting for something new. This is more or less a repeat.

[www.esa.int image 700x525]

Well, it is the same comet, just the new picture is from a lot closer.


Not really any closer that a zoom in Photoshop couldn't do and still keep most of the data intact.

At this point, "coolest" would be a false color composite or something similar, instead of another B&W static shot. It's how we're getting all of the spectacular pics from Cassini. They all look like this one, but they combine them and convert them to the color channel they represent.
 
2014-08-16 02:00:18 PM  
It's not from today.   It's not from a week and a half ago.   But it is at least from the 14th.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/08/14/close_up_of_67_p _h as_rosetta_found_evidence_for_a_calving_event.html
 
2014-08-16 03:30:34 PM  
I definitely would NOT hit it.
 
2014-08-16 05:03:20 PM  
i36.photobucket.com
 
2014-08-16 10:52:57 PM  

Twilight Farkle: [i.imgur.com image 640x584]

That high-res image is not only gorgeous, it raises lots of questions. (I'm a layman, not a scientician, but I scribbled this together on the cropped pic because there's no such thing as a dumb question... )

This thing's only spent about 50 years/fewer than 10 orbits that have taken it closer than 2.7AU to the Sun, so the answer to when some of these features changed may be sooner than one might ordinarily think. Best thing about this mission is that the spacecraft and lander will be along the ride through perihelion, so we might actually get to answer some of those questions in a few months' time.


Not a geologist, so this may sound like a stupid question, but why are the faults at 90 degrees to each other a big deal? There's no "down" on a comet that's rotating, so wouldn't you expect faults to run in different directions depending on how they happened?
 
2014-08-17 01:18:26 AM  

jfarkinB: I was staring at that crosshatched patch, too. I see where you highlighted other faults that are parallel to one of the crosshatched directions. When I saw the scars running in the perpendicular direction, I got an immediate impression that they were scrapes.

Imagine the "head" contacting the "body" for the first time. They're probably rotating independently, and if they're coming together slowly enough to stick without disintegrating, they're going to grind against each other until friction stops their relative rotation. I picture the head rotating slowly along its "horizontal" axis (as oriented in that photo), with the body gouging those "vertical" trenches as it turns. Plausible?


You might be onto something. Or as the article to which Embden.Meyerhof linked suggests, maybe they're fresh because a really big chunk calved away and exposed all that material (relatively) recently.

Lsherm: Not a geologist, so this may sound like a stupid question, but why are the faults at 90 degrees to each other a big deal? There's no "down" on a comet that's rotating, so wouldn't you expect faults to run in different directions depending on how they happened?


No such thing as stupid questions - and I'm not a geologist either. I think it's from my original, unstated, subconscious, and probably incorrect assumption that "down" tends to remain roughly the same direction, but upon reflection, that assumption doesn't necessarily hold true for things like these. It may well be that the faulting is from different episodes of the object's history, and that the direction in which stress is applied, has changed radically over the object's lifetime. Combine that with the possibility that impacts may have whacked it (or some larger parent body from which it formed eons ago) and left traces in the rock... leaves lots of interesting options open. Maybe some of the things that I labled as faults/layers in the rock aren't necessarily faults, they're just ridges of ice/gravel that have formed as the ice sublimes, and it really is just a big rubble pile. Maybe we get to find out, either from orbit or depending on what images we get out of Philae as it lands.
 
2014-08-17 03:25:55 AM  

Mikey1969: Subby is technically right, as this is the only comet nucleus I've looked at today.

Of course, this one came out a week and a half ago, and it's pretty much the same thing. Cool, but already waiting for something new. This is more or less a repeat.

[www.esa.int image 700x525]


Is that Comet Buttplug?
 
2014-08-17 03:27:29 AM  

mark12A: Read an article somewhere (Slashdot??) that ESA is being a real dick and not releasing images promptly so *their* scientists could have the first crack at "making discoveries". And maybe "process" the images to cover up details so their scientists can reveal them later. Contrast this with NASA/JPL, who immediately release raw images as soon as they come in.


That's an incredibly dickish move and doesn't surprise me in the least.
 
2014-08-17 09:40:25 AM  

Lsherm: Not a geologist, so this may sound like a stupid question, but why are the faults at 90 degrees to each other a big deal? There's no "down" on a comet that's rotating, so wouldn't you expect faults to run in different directions depending on how they happened?


As I understand it, processes that cause wrinkles, cracks or furrows in one direction tend to erase wrinkles or cracks in the perpendicular direction. Squeezing, stretching, drifting, erosion -- none of them seem to produce crosshatches, even in combination.

Seeing faults running in random directions wouldn't seem odd, but a large crosshatched area is surprising. Well, it's surprised at least two non-specialists, anyhow.
 
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