Comet 67P was registered to develop a series of activities which allowed scientists to trace it starting from last year back to its origins. During last summer, for three months, Rosetta’s camera managed to record 34 bursts. Fascinating activities like these were above normal courses of material that were ever captured from the nucleus of the comet. The haphazard rotation seemed to synchronize with the up and down movement of the Sun’s light.
When analyzing Comet 67P and comparing outbursts to jets, scientists highlighted the fact that outbursts are stronger and brighter, whereas jets are short, high-speed discharges of dust. These jets are seen in just one image, their lifetime interval being situated between 5 minutes and half an hour. A regular outburst is bound to expel between 60 and 260 tons of material within minutes.
Trying to make a statistics which they can follow, scientists claim that the effusion which occurred near the closest point to the Sun appears from 30 to 30 hours, indicating that Comet 67P had 2.4 rotations. Researchers also have taken into consideration the occurrence of the stream of dust, which influenced them into categorizing them. The first category is connected to a long spurt stretching at a long distance from the nucleus. The second one illustrates a broad base which extends sideways. The third one represents a fusion of the first two.
Jean-Baptiste Vincent, one of the authors of the paper published in Monthly Notices of the Astronomical Society , states that effusions can only be captured in a single image. Scientists could not know for sure if the photo of Comet 67P was taken when the outburst started or when it died. Keeping that in mind, researchers cannot tell if the three categories represent indeed different shapes, or represent the same mechanism but in different stages.
If we try to think logically all the information provided by scientists, we find out that the outburst initially emerges with a long slender spurt with dust which is then discharged rapidly. Considering the fact that the space near the exit place is changed, a wider section of new material gets exposed, expanding the feather-like base. At the end, when the reference point has been modified so much that it could no longer support the narrow spurt, only a wide plume resists.
This new and useful information about Comet 67P can make anybody curious about outer space. Aren’t you curious to find out more about comets?
Image source: wikipedia