The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with its two-lobed shape (Photo ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM)

Two articles to be published in the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics” describe various aspects of a research on the age of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Martin Jutzi and Willy Benz of the University of Bern, Switzerland, together with several colleagues conducted a series of computer simulations to study its two-lobed structure concluding that the collision that gave it its present shape hardly occurred over a billion years ago.

Some outbursts on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (Image OSIRIS: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; NavCam: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0)

An article published in the journal “Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society” describes a research about the outbursts detected by ESA’s Rosetta space probe on the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the three months around its closest approach to the Sun, on August 13, 2015, Rosetta’s cameras captured 34 outbursts. A team led by Jean-Baptiste Vincent from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Gottingen, Germany, traced their origin on the comet’s surface.

The possible scenario of the impact that created the Moon (a) and the following arrival of water (b) (Image Jessica J. Barnes et al.)

An article published in the journal “Nature Communications” describes a research about the water on the Moon and concluded that it was brought mostly by asteroids that struck it between 4.5 and 4.3 billion years ago. Until now, scientists generally thought that water was transported by comets but according to the international team led by Jessica Barnes of the British Open University things are different.

The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko photographed on March 25, 2015, one of the moments of the organic molecules detections (Photo ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0)

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” describes the discovery of ingredients that are considered key to the origin of life on Earth on the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In particular, glycine, an amino acid found in proteins, and phosphorus, an element that forms DNA and cell membranes. These observations were made by the ROSINA instrument aboard ESA’s Rosetta space probe.