'Rotten eggs & horse pee': Rosetta probe sniffs comet 67P…and it stinks!

'Rotten eggs & horse pee': Rosetta probe sniffs comet 67P…and it stinks!

A mix of rotten eggs, alcohol and a horse stable, with a note of bitter almonds – that’s the smell of comet 67P, caught by sensor devices of the Rosetta spacecraft, which is orbiting it, European scientists say.

The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko – or Chury for short – is traveling through space some 400 million km (about 250 million miles) from the sun, but this chunk of ice has already started releasing gas molecules. They were detected by the Rosetta orbiter sensor for ion and neutral analysis (ROSINA) – first in August - but this time an unexpectedly much richer picture was revealed.

“The perfume of 67P/C-G is quite strong, with the odor of rotten eggs (hydrogen sulfide), horse stable (ammonia), and the pungent, suffocating odor of formaldehyde. This is mixed with the faint, bitter, almond-like aroma of hydrogen cyanide,” Kathrin Altwegg, head of the ROSINA project at the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH) at the University of Bern, described the smell. “Add some whiff of alcohol (methanol) to this mixture, paired with the vinegar-like aroma of sulfur dioxide and a hint of the sweet aromatic scent of carbon disulfide, and you arrive at the ‘perfume’ of our comet“.

“What’s surprising is we already have extremely rich chemistry at this distance from the sun,” she added.

To catch up with 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Rosetta has made a 10-year-long journey, which involved three flybys of Earth and one of Mars. The Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting the comet since September.

On November 12 at around 09:35 GMT, Rosetta will release its landing probe, Philae – the first manmade object to land on a comet. The historic touchdown is expected to happen seven hours later, and in two hours’ time the first pictures from the surface will be received by scientists at the European Space Agency ESA, as well as two lander control centers in Germany and France.

Landing on a Comet - The Rosetta Mission - YouTube

According to ESA astronomers, the gases composing the comet alongside with frozen water and carbon dioxide could open the door to the exploration of the origins of comets, as well as of the solar system. It could also provide with some insight into the differences between the comets coming from the ‘Jupiter family’ and from the Oort cloud on the outskirts of our solar system.

Belonging to the Jupiter family, 67P/C-G is a periodic comet with a well-known and predictable orbit of 6.5 years. Discovered in 1969 by Soviet scientists, it will approach the sun at its closest in August, 2015.

Comets are icy bodies that are regarded as fossils from the times when the solar system was originating, and they could provide scientists with some of the primordial material. That is why comets coming from the distant Oort cloud, rare guests to the inner solar system and therefore ‘untouched’ by the sun, such as the comet Siding Spring are pristine presents for scientists eager to learn more about the original materials that formed the solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

source: http://rt.com/news/199424-space-rose...ampaign=chrome
Rosetta Mission Predictions

Posted on August 16, 2014 by sschirott
Comet_67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on_29_July_2014

The Rosetta Mission Predictions

By David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill
After a 10-year journey, Rosetta spacecraft has now reached Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It looks like the mission is going to be a goldmine for us.
Already one self evident prediction of the electric comet model has been confirmed: a spectacular, sharply ‘spark machined’ surface—just the opposite of what the “sublimating ices” model of comets would predict and a refutation of all published artistic visualizations of the comet prior to Rosetta’s arrival.
As most of our readers will know, the double-lobed form of the nucleus, similar to the observed forms of so many comets and asteroids, is no surprise to electrical theorists. Standard theory, on the other hand, must call upon repeated astronomical improbabilities (merging of two tiny and remote bodies in space) to explain these recurrent morphologies. If such improbabilities are common in a gravitational scenario, why no triple-lobed comets or asteroids?
While no electrical theorist would deny the possibility that a chunk of dirty ice could still be circling the Sun today, none expects substantial water-ice either on or below the surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. More likely would be a possible localized dusting of frost as trivial levels of ice crystals, created electrochemically in the coma, drift to the surface.
Significant things to look for as the Rosetta mission continues:
  1. No evidence of subsurface ice at the sources of the jets;
  2. Virtually no interstellar dust, the second component of the “dirty snowball” theory;
  3. Discovery of minerals on the nucleus that are typical of planetary surfaces within the
  4. Habitable zone of the Sun; characteristic concentration of plasma jet activity eating away at the cliffs of elevated terrain and the margins of well-defined depressions;
  5. Measurable retreat of active cliff regions in the wake of this activity; and
  6. The presence of unexpected electric fields within the coma and/or close to the comet nucleus, possibly even disrupting the anticipated landing on the surface. This could occur on or after touch down because the sharp metallic edges of the spacecraft make an ideal focus for a diffuse plasma discharge, which would disrupt communications and possibly interfere with spacecraft electronics.
And, if a strong coronal mass ejection from the Sun strikes the comet, we expect the comet to respond electrically with a surge of activity, confirming that the jets are not due to warming from the Sun but to charged particle distribution in the electric field of the Sun.
If you’re wondering about the electrical theory, facts, and reasoning behind these expectations, it’s time to watch The Electric Comet documentary, along with the accompanying video on reported infrared readings of “water” from the Deep Impact event at Comet Tempel 1.
....and of course somebody members never learn h t t p s fukks up threads..

A mix of rotten eggs, alcohol and a horse stable

It smells like an Irishman's house.
Predictions for Comet Science After Rosetta

Posted on October 27, 2014 by B Talbott
The Rosetta mission to Comet 67P is still in its early stages, but the remarkable discoveries have been coming for some time. Here is a quick review of key findings so far:
Like other comet surfaces, 67P is blacker than charcoal, a continuing dilemma for comet science.
Its surface has no observable water-ice despite the unprecedented high res-images at close range. If the comet’s jets mean water is being ejected from the nucleus, the sources should show up; Rosetta has delivered no observation-based glimpses of subsurface water-ice, an absolute requirement of popular comet theory.
The nucleus has numerous craters, including circular, overlapping craters, as seen below. Given the extraordinary distances between comets in remote space, astronomers preclude voluminous crater production by impact, and even one collision would be a remarkable coincidence.

To consider the Electric Universe explanation for such craters, through the process of Electrical Discharge Machining – EDM – consider the following picture of anode crater formation in EDM process, published here.

As discussed in several Space News from the Electric Universe reports, the comet has a double-lobed or “rubber duck” form, which astronomers have generally attributed to a low-velocity impact that mysteriously melded two comets together. We again point readers to Dr. C.J. Ransom’s experiment, which replicated this form in the laboratory with an electrical discharge to a sample of hematite (image below):

Enigmatically the comet is tortured with sharp cliffs, projecting peaks, deep pits, and boulders of every size. The dramatically “carved” appearance has shocked mission scientists, though it amounts to an explicit prediction of the Electric Universe, which states that most—and likely all—comets were excavated electrically from planetary surfaces in a cloud of rocky debris.
Spectroscopic analysis has shown that 67P began producing the signal of water in its coma while still a surprisingly vast distance from the Sun. The mystery deepened on October 23rd, when scientists from the University of Bern reported: “The idea was that at distances outside of 3 AU, the comet would mostly sublimate the very volatile molecules: carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. However, apart from all these smelling ingredients ROSINA is detecting many more molecules already at large distances from the Sun which comes as quite a surprise.” (PDF of the statement may be read here).
These molecules include Formaldehyde (CH2O), Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Hydrogen cyanide (HCN), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Carbon disulphide (CS2).
In our recent Space News on Rosetta, we noted that electrochemical processes, not dissimilar to those proposed in peer-reviewed papers for Mercury’s putative ice deposits and water in the lunar soil, may in fact be responsible for the signal of “water” appearing in the comet’s coma—a potential game changer in comet science. As Wal Thornhill explains, “The cathode jets strip and ionize atoms of oxygen from minerals on the comet and accelerate the negative ions away in a fine jet. The oxygen ions then combine with the protons in the solar wind to form the hydroxyl radical, OH, which was mistakenly assumed to be evidence of an ultraviolet breakdown product of water molecules from the comet. Oxygen and hydrogen have both been found in the comet’s coma, by the Rosetta ultraviolet spectrometer.”
We understand that working scientists, like all human beings, operate within the constraints of longstanding theory. Yet it is dismaying that no one has yet wondered publicly whether the comet’s present activity is really due to warming from the Sun.
Mission scientists will attempt to secure the Philae lander with harpoons and ice screws on the comet’s blacker than charcoal, ice-free, complex and rocky surface on November 12h. Regardless of whether the lander’s augers successfully penetrate the nucleus and root the probe long-term (far from certain), proponents of the Electric Universe predict that after Rosetta, comet science will never be the same.
Historically, fundamental changes in established theory can be painfully slow in coming. Consider the aftermath of NASA’s Stardust mission to comet Wild 2 in 2004. Scientists had never dreamt that the tiny fragments of comet dust brought back to Earth had not accreted in the deep freeze of interstellar space. The name of the mission itself—“Stardust”—was based on the assumption of comet formation in a primordial interstellar cloud. Nevertheless, it had to be admitted that the complex crystalline structures were formed under astonishingly high temperatures. Mineral inclusions ranged from anorthite, which is made up of calcium, sodium, aluminum and silicate, to diopside, made of calcium, magnesium and silicate. Formations of such minerals requires temperatures in the range of thousands of degrees.
NASA curator Michael Zolensky said, “That’s a big surprise. People thought comets would just be cold stuff that formed out … where things are very cold….It was kind of a shock to not just find one but several of these, which implies they are pretty common in the comet.”
Researchers were forced to conclude that the enigmatic particles formed at a superheated region either close to our Sun, or close to an alien star. “In the coldest part of the solar system we’ve found samples that formed at extremely high temperatures,” said Donald Brownlee, Stardust’s principal investigator. “When these minerals formed they were either red hot or white hot grains, and yet they were collected in a comet, the Siberia of the Solar System.”
Some scientists speculated that perhaps something occurred in or very near the Sun in its formative phase, flinging immense quantities of material out to the periphery of the Sun’s domain (far, far beyond the orbit of Pluto), all the way to the Oort cloud. Then the researchers reminded themselves that this would produce a mixing and contradict the zoning that is evident in the asteroid belt. “If this mixing is occurring, as suggested by these results, then how do you preserve any kind of zoning in the solar system,” Zolensky asked. “It raises more mysteries.”
A 2007 report states that parts of Wild 2 formed in an area close to the Sun. The
“The X-ray and isotopic analyses point to gas acquisition in a hot, high-ion flux nebular environment close to the young sun.”
Interestingly, a few scientists have suggested that a “transient heating event” such as shocks or, believe it or not, lightning in the outer regions of the protoplanetary disk may have created the anomalous minerals in the WlId 2 dust samples. But will this proposed electrical connection of comets to planet formation be sufficient to inspire questions about the foundations of comet theory?
Astronomers have recently acknowledged that the standard theory of planet formation has failed, and a new theory is required. As the July 2, 2014 headline planets in chaos in the journal Nature states: “The discovery of thousands of star systems wildly different from our own has demolished ideas about how planets form. Astronomers are searching for a whole new theory.” The problem for astronomers is, exoplanet systems seem to play by their own rules. Planets and stars are routinely observed that “shouldn’t exist” in the standard theory, which imagines them forming through gravitational collapse in a spinning cloud of gas and dust. As one astronomer quoted in the Nature piece states, the core-accretion theory of planet formation has “led to no success in extrapolating what’s out there.”
The Dawn space mission recently gave an additional jolt to planet formation theory. Scientists had theorized that the asteroid Vesta is a “planet embryo” that came into existence at the same time as the Solar System. This theory states that the asteroid suffered an enormous “double meteorite impact” that dug tens of kilometers deep, and would have ejected material onto the asteroid’s surface. Since olivine is a main component of planetary mantles, the investigators expected to find it in abundance near the so-called “impact craters.” No olivine was detected. As the website Science Daily report, these findings “challenge a fundamental component in planet formation models, namely the composition of the original cloud of matter that aggregated together, heated, melted and then crystallized to form planets.”
Sadly, no consideration has been given to the possibility that the asteroid is not primordial. Nor have theorists asked if the pervasive cratering might have occurred through any process other than impact across aeons of solar system history. In fact, cratering by impacts seems profoundly unlikely. As in the case of the large crater on Martian moon Phobos, an impact of sufficient energy to create the largest Vesta crater would surely have shattered the body.
The startling truth is that no coherent and reliable story of our Solar System’s birth and evolution remains. And comet theory is entirely in flux. As theorists begin to consider possibilities beyond the primordial “snowball-comet,” it’s not unreasonable to expect innovative scientists to arrive at the Electric Universe through the back door. The idea of lightning-generated comet material is just one example, and many similar openings are now likely. Electrical phenomena will continue to provoke new frontiers in comet exploration, and we now have many reasons to believe that Rosetta will be remembered as a critical turn on the path of discovery.
So all this time all we really are is just some composting bug inside some much much bigger then us living things intestines. I new it!!!!!!
BBC News, Science and Environment
5 November 2014

After 10 years, and a journey of more than six billion kilometres , Europe's Rosetta spacecraft is set to launch its fridge-sized Philae lander on to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November.

If successful, Philae and Rosetta could be key to unlocking answers about the formation of the Solar System, the origins of water on Planet Earth and perhaps even life itself.

Go here to play the Rosetta mission game: BBC News - Rosetta mission: Can you land on a comet?

The comet

"The comet is a beautiful but dramatic world - it is scientifically exciting, but its shape makes it operationally challenging" Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, DLR

The challenge for the flight team operating Rosetta from back on Earth is to land Philae on a rotating, duck-shaped comet travelling through space at 18km/s (40,000mph in Queen's English).

Exactly where the lander will touch down was decided in September, after Rosetta caught up with the comet and started to orbit around it. Scientists and engineers identified Site J (now known as "Agilkia" *) on the smaller "head" lobe as the best site for landing and subsequent experiments.

* Named after Agilkia Island, an island in the Nile River and the
present site of an Ancient Egyptian temple complex of Philae (after which the lander is named) in southern Egypt.

However, the one square kilometre site contains cliffs and crevices and has huge boulders - any of which could scupper a landing.

Agilkia has good lighting conditions, which for Philae means having some periods to recharge its solar-powered batteries and periods of darkness to cool its systems. Site C has been selected as a back-up.

Getting closer to the unusually shaped comet has given us its dimensions, but analysis has also revealed other details:

Comet's rotation: 12.4 hours
Mass: One trillion kg (or 10 billion tonnes)
Density: 400kg per cubic metre (the same as some woods)
Volume: 25 cubic km
Colour: Charcoal - based on its albedo, or the amount of incident light it reflects back into space .

Separation and landing

"The point though is not merely to watch the comet from a safe distance, but to get down on the ground and actually touch the object." Prof Ian Wright, Open University

The landing is set for 12 November. Rosetta will release Philae at 08:35 GMT from a distance of 22.5km from the centre of 67P. An inaccuracy of a few millimetres per second in Rosetta's orbit could result in Philae completely missing the comet.

The descent, monitored from Esa's mission control in Darmstadt, Germany, is expected to last about seven hours.

Because the event is taking place 510 million km from Earth, communication between Rosetta and controllers takes 28 minutes and 20 seconds each way. As a consequence, confirmation of separation is not expected until about 09:03 GMT and of the landing until just after 16:00 GMT.

There will be no steering of the lander down to the comet's surface - once released, it is on a path of its own.

"We need a certain amount of luck to end up in a nice spot," Paolo Ferri, head of mission operations, said.

Although the date has been set, the Rosetta team will have to make a series of Go or No-Go decisions before the landing attempt on 12 November.

"If any of the decisions result in a No-Go, then we will have to abort and revise the timeline accordingly for another attempt, making sure that Rosetta is in a safe position to try again," says Fred Jansen, Esa's Rosetta mission manager.

1: Release from Rosetta
Rosetta will push the Philae lander away when the spacecraft is about 22.5km from the comet's centre. Rosetta needs to release Philae at exactly the right place in time and space to be sure of putting the little robot on the correct path to the comet

2: Descent
The descent to the comet's surface is expected to take about seven hours. On the way down, Philae will take pictures of the comet and start taking measurements of the environment around the comet

3: Comet activity
The comet activity on the day - throwing out gas and dust or even the splitting up of the comet itself - cannot be predicted. The descending robot will just have to cope with whatever is chucked at it

4: Landing zone
The chosen landing area is not perfectly flat, but most slopes are at an angle of less than 30 degrees. There are some boulders that could pose a problem if Philae hits them, however

5: Touchdown
When the lander hits the surface - at walking pace - footscrews will drill into the surface and harpoons will be used as anchors. A thruster on top of Philae will also gently push the robot into the surface to stop it bouncing off into space. If the surface is very soft, the screws may not secure the lander. If it is very hard, they may not penetrate it at all

The Philae lander

Once on the surface, Philae can get to work. The lander will take a panoramic photo of its surroundings using its onboard micro-cameras. Next, about an hour after touchdown, the first sequence of surface science experiments will begin, and will last for 60 or so hours.

The Rosetta orbiter will continue to study the comet using its 11 science instruments - but it will also be relaying data from Philae's instruments. Radio waves sent from Philae to Rosetta when the orbiter spacecraft is on the opposite side of the comet will help determine the structure of the comet's interior.

Drills, ovens, cameras and sensors onboard Philae will analyse everything from the surface composition and temperature to the presence of amino acids - essential building blocks in the chemistry of life.

1: Cameras - Philae's CIVA imaging system has cameras that will take panoramas of the comet's surface terrain. The download-looking ROLIS system will spy the comet on descent, and take close-ups once landed

2: Nucleus probe - CONSERT - will use radio waves to probe the internal structure of the comet nucleus

3: Footscrews - Ice screws on the feet of Philae's legs will drill down into the comet to secure the lander. Problems could arise if the surface is too hard or too soft

4: Sample drill - SD2 - Sample and Distribution Device - will drill more than 20cm into the surface, collect samples and deliver them to onboard laboratory equipment COSAC and PTOLEMY for analysis.

5: Harpoons - Immediately after touchdown, a harpoon will be fired to anchor Philae to the comet's surface and prevent it bumping off because of the comet's weak gravity

6: Surface probe - MUPUS - Sensors on the lander's anchor, probe and exterior will measure the density, thermal and other properties of the surface and subsurface

Prof Ian Wright, of the Open University, is the principal investigator of the British-built Ptolemy instrument. He says the Rosetta mission is already a success, whatever happens with the landing - which everyone on the project knows is a risky venture.

"As things stand, the orbiter will continue to shadow the comet until the end of next year. This will be an opportunity to observe how the body responds to its close passage to the Sun," he said.

"The point though is not merely to watch the comet from a safe distance, but to get down on the ground and actually touch the object.

For those of us who are used to handling and analysing samples in the lab it is the only way to study it. We realise that we may ultimately end up with nothing but that is the nature of exploration."

What next?

After the initial science sequences, longer-term studies are planned, depending on how well Philae's batteries are able to recharge. This could be affected by how much dust gathers on its solar panels.

As the mission continues and the comet journeys closer to the Sun, temperatures inside the lander will get so hot that its batteries and electronics will stop working. This could be around March 2015.

But even after Philae's mission ends, Rosetta will continue its escort and remote analysis of the comet for a few more months.

August 2014: Rendezvous with comet - Rosetta reaches Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after a 10-year journey. The craft starts orbiting the comet and identifies suitable sites for the Philae lander.

November 2014: First Science Sequence - After landing on the comet, Philae's first few days are spent running through a predetermined set of experiments.

December 2014: Long-term science - The team hopes Philae will continue working and recharging its batteries, to continue its observations despite its temperature constraints on the comet.

March 2015: Lander limits - Philae could be affected by increasing temperatures on the comet and may be at risk of layers of dust hampering the effectiveness of its solar panels.

August 2015: Perihelion - The comet reaches its closest position to the Sun. Rosetta will be measuring the level of activity as the icy object enters its most active phase.

BBC News - Rosetta mission: Can you land on a comet?
Last edited by Blackleaf; Nov 5th, 2014 at 06:38 AM..

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