Comets

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.

Artistic representation of the comet C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS) (Image ESO/M. Kornmesser)

An article published in the journal “Science Advances” describes a research about comet C/2014 S3 (PANSTARRS), which was preserved in the Oort cloud for billions of years while maintaining almost the same features it had at the time of its formation. Its peculiarity is that it seems to be composed of the same materials of the inner areas of the solar system so it’s a kind of fossil of the times of the Earth’s formation.