News

The rubber ducky comet blasted a magnetic path through the space

A single frame Rosetta navigation camera image of the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
(ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM)

Rosetta’s comet sent a magnetic shock wave screaming in the front of the jobs of a path through the stellar wind. And scientists just found.

Astrophysicists was looking for evidence of such a wave, called a bow shock, around the Comet 67p, the “rubber ducky” comet that the European Space Agency (ESA) probe Rosetta visited in 2016. Other comets, like the Comet of Halley, bow shock, after all, so why not 67p?

A bow shock is created at the boundary between a comet’s magnetic field and the inrushing stellar wind and other energized particles in the space. But when researchers sifted through data from the period when Rosetta orbited 67p, Rosetta in the first instance, it did not seem to have found a bow shock around the comet.

Now, in a paper published Nov. 6 in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, researchers report that the Comet 67p had a bow shock after all. It was just a vague, unbalanced, baby bow shock, in unexpected ways, making it initially difficult to identify in the data Rosetta and sent home. [Rosetta Probe Gets Rare Close-Up of the Comet Eruption (Video)]

More From LiveScience

  • Rosetta Probe Gets Rare Close-Up of the Comet Eruption (Video)
  • 9 Foreign, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans have not Yet Found Aliens …
  • 7 Things Most Often mistaken for Ufos
  • Spooky! Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena

“We were looking for a classical bow shock in the nature of the environment would expect to find, far away from the comet core, but not find, so we originally to the conclusion that Rosetta had failed to spot a kind of shock,” Herbert Gunell of the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (bira-iasb and Umeå University in Sweden, co-author on the paper, said in a statement.

But a more careful analysis of the data revealed that Rosetta passed by means of a magnetically excited region during two periods, and the electrons and protons around it reacted on the border.

The first period just as the comet began its closest approach to the sun, and the second occurred as the comet away from the sun.

This means that the “Rosetta observed a cometary bow shock in the early stages, a stage in his development not previously accessible [astronomers],” the researchers wrote in the study.

After that point, as 67p approached the sun, the bow shock moves away from the comet, along the zone of Rosetta on the job. But Rosetta saw sights never seen before: a bow shock vibrate to life, and the last moments before his death.

  • 9 Foreign, Scientific Excuses for Why Humans have not Yet Found Aliens …
  • 7 Things Most Often mistaken for Ufos
  • Spooky! Top 10 Unexplained Phenomena

Originally published on Live Science.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular