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In Germany, a new stamp pays tribute to the European comet mission Rosetta. more

One comet, 70000 images

April 17, 2019
The OSIRIS Image Viewer makes all images of Rosetta’s comet 67P taken by the scientific camera system OSIRIS easily accessible on the internet. more
All images taken by the scientific camera system OSIRIS during Rosetta’s twelve-year mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are now publicly available.

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The irregular shape of the Rosetta comet determines the distribution of gas and dust in its atmosphere.

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For the first time, researchers from the COSIMA team present a quantitative analysis of which chemical elements make up comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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Rosetta reveals <br />dust jet

Rosetta reveals
dust jet

October 26, 2017
When comet 67P emitted a jet of dust into space in July 2016, five instruments from the Rosetta spacecraft were able to record the event. The scientific evaluation is now available.

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Scientists analysing the final telemetry sent by Rosetta immediately before it shut down on the surface of the comet last year have reconstructed one last image of its touchdown site.

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Philae found

September 08, 2016
The search for the Rosetta lander Philae on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was successful. more
Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera team has launched a new website to showcase their recent images of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

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Colors of a Comet

November 12, 2015
To the naked eye comet 67P, destination and by now longtime companion of ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft, is rather unremarkably colored: black as a piece of coal all over. However, with the help of OSIRIS, scientists can make visible subtle, yet comprehensive differences in surface reflectivity. The newest analysis, presented today at the annual meeting of the DPS of the AAS in National Harbor (Maryland), thus paints a much more diverse picture of 67P. more
For the first time since its arrival at comet 67P, OSIRIS has observed a dust jet emitted from the comet in a fashion that allows to create a three dimensional anaglyph of the feature. The jet occurred a day before perihelion in phase of high cometary activity.   more
The origin of the comet’s double-lobed form has been a key question since Rosetta first revealed its surprising shape. Now, scientists have an unambiguous answer. By using high-resolution images to study the layers of material seen all over the nucleus, they have shown that the shape arose from a low-speed collision between two fully fledged, separately formed comets. more
Turning point in the Rosetta mission: Tonight at 4.03 am (CEST) 67P reached the point in its orbit closest to the Sun. Shots taken by OSIRIS, the scientific imaging system onboard Rosetta, on 12 and 13 August (CEST) already show a firework of dust jets emitted from the comet – and a spectacular outburst.  more
In the approach to perihelion over the past few weeks, Rosetta has been witnessing growing activity from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, with one dramatic outburst event on 29 July proving so powerful that it even pushed away the incoming solar wind. The outburst was registered by several of Rosetta’s instruments from their vantage point 186 kilometres from the comet. more
The surface dust of Rosetta’s comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko contains a wide variety of organic molecules. Researchers led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Göttingen have been able to detect a total of 16 compounds in measurement data from the COSAC instrument which were recorded shortly after the Philae lander first touched down on the surface of the comet on 12 November 2014. more
On Sunday, 12 July 2015, OSIRIS, the scientific imaging system on board ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta, took a glance towards the rim of our Solar System. Instead of studying comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as in the past 15 months, the instrument took a peek at Pluto. NASA’s space probe New Horizons passes by the distant dwarf planet today. more
Cavities measuring up to a few hundred meters in diameter can be found under the surface of Rosetta’s comet. They can be instable and collapse in a kind of sinkhole process. This is the result of a new study led by researchers from the MPS in Germany, which analyses images of the comet’s surface. The images show peculiar, pit-like recesses. more
Philae, Rosetta' solar-powered lander has woken up from its nearly seven months of hibernation. On Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 22.28 CET, Philae phoned home, sending initial data to Earth. More than 300 data packets are being evaluated. They mainly contain information about Philae's "health" and have shown that the comet probe has an operating temperature of -35 degrees Celsius and 24 watts of energy available. more

The quest to find Philae

June 11, 2015
Rosetta and Philae teams continue to search for the current location of the lander, piecing together clues from its unexpected flight over the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after its initial landing on 12 November.

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When night falls on Rosetta’s comet, the bizarrely shaped body remains active. This can be seen in new images of the Ma’at region located on the comet’s “head” captured by OSIRIS. They were taken approximately half an hour after the Sun had set over the region and show clearly distinguishable jets of dust escaping into space. more
OSIRIS discovers balancing rock on 67P
Scientists from Rosetta’s OSIRIS team have discovered an extraordinary formation on the larger lobe of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the Aker region. From a group of three boulders the largest one stands out: images obtained on 16 September 2014 show it to perch on the rim of a small depression.

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OSIRIS catches the wake-up of a dust jet
Sometimes it is all a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Or, as in the case of ESA’s space probe Rosetta, of opening your eyes at the exactly right moment. In mid-March, Rosetta’s onboard imaging system OSIRIS was able to catch the elusive moment, when a new dust jet from comet 67P awakes to life.

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OSIRIS detects hints of ice in the comet&rsquo;s neck
The Hapi region on the neck of Rosetta’s comet reflects red light less effectively than most other regions on the comet. It thus appears slightly blueish. This might point to the presence of frozen water mixed intimately with the dust at the surface.

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OSIRIS catches glimpse of Rosetta&rsquo;s shadow
Several days after Rosetta’s close flyby of comet 67P on 14 February 2015, images taken on this day by OSIRIS have now been downlinked to Earth. With a resolution of 11 centimeters per pixel, these data from OSIRIS’ Narrow Angle Camera reveal highly detailed structures on the comet’s surface. In addition, Rosetta’s shadow on the surface can be seen surrounded by a bright halo-like region.

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Rosetta: Comet&rsquo;s South Heats Up
The northern and southern hemisphere of Rosetta’s comet 67P experience sun-driven erosion to a very different extent. This is the result of a recent analysis performed by Rosetta’s OSIRIS team. Based on data acquired by the scientific imaging system OSIRIS, the scientists used a thermal model to estimate how much material both hemispheres lose during one orbit.
Rosetta's profile of a comet

Rosetta's profile of a comet

January 28, 2015
A surface covered by a thermally insulating layer. A low density comparable with that of cork, and jets of dust and gas which are ejected into space to their own beat: Data recorded by ESA’S Rosetta space probe are drawing a more and more accurate picture of comet 67P. A special issue of the magazine Science provides an overview of the current state of knowledge. more
Rosetta watches comet shed its dusty coat
ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta is currently providing unique insight into the life cycle of a comet’s dusty surface. During the previous months COSIMA could monitor how comet 67P sheds its dusty coat layer by layer. To this end, the instrument collects dust particles from the comet’s environment, images them and analyses their composition. Scientists of the COSIMA-Team report about their first results in the current issue of the journal Nature. more
The fine structure of activity jets of 67P
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has shown activity in the form of dust jets for a few months now. Recent OSIRIS images reveal that large scale jets as seen in previous images can now be resolved into many smaller jets emerging from the surface and then unite further away from the comet nucleus. more
Rosetta's Comet: Shades of Grey
Like many small bodies in space such as most asteroids, Rosetta’s comet 67P appears grey. This can be seen in images obtained by Rosetta’s scientific imaging system OSIRIS after careful processing. To create an image revealing 67P’s “true” colours, the scientists superposed images taken with the camera’s red, green and blue filters. more
Rosetta: Where does the water on Earth come from?
New measurement data from the ESA-mission Rosetta raises doubts on the theory that comets once provided the Earth with water. An international research team led by the University of Bern investigated the water vapour from the environment of Rosetta’s comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenk with the help of the mass spectrometer ROSINA. The composition is not similar to earthly water. more
Philae's drifting journey across the comet
OSIRIS camera on board of the Rosetta spacecraft images the journey of the lander above the nucleus of 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko. After the Philae lander was separated from Rosetta on 12 November, it remained in view of its mother space probe. more
Philae has landed

Philae has landed

November 12, 2014
November 12, 2014 goes down in history. On this Wednesday, an unmanned probe landed on a comet nucleus for the first time ever. The signal was received at 17.03 CET in the control center. Philae is to remain on the comet’s surface as a permanent research station to collect data and take measurements for at least 60 hours.

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The dark side of the comet

The dark side of the comet

November 06, 2014
OSIRIS has caught a glimpse of the southern side of comet 67P. During the past months, this side has continuously faced away from the Sun making it impossible to determine shape and surface structures. Only the light scattered from dust particles in the comet’s coma very slightly illuminates this uncharted territory.

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Jets of Activity

Jets of Activity

October 23, 2014
Rosetta’s comet is beginning to show a clearly visible increase in activity. While in the past months most of the dust emitted from the body’s surface seemed to originate from the neck region which connects the two lobes, images obtained by Rosetta’s scientific imaging system OSIRIS now show jets of dust along almost the whole extent of the comet.  more
Close-up of boulder Cheops

Close-up of boulder Cheops

October 09, 2014
The scientific imaging system OSIRIS on board ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta has caught a glimpse of one of the many boulders that cover the surface of comet 67P. With a maximum extension of approximately 45 meters it is one of the larger structures of this kind. It has been named Cheops after the largest pyramid within the Giza Necropolis. more
Descent onto "head" of a comet

Descent onto "head" of a comet

September 16, 2014
The intended touchdown site of the Philae lander to be deployed by ESA’s Rosetta space probe is almost in the centre of the “head” of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. According to the Lander Team this region offers the best conditions for a safe landing followed by successful measurements when compared with other regions. more
A Map of Rosetta's Comet

A Map of Rosetta's Comet

September 08, 2014
High-resolution images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko reveal a unique, multifaceted world. Scientists have now analyzed images of the comet's surface taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's scientific imaging system, and allocated several distinct regions, each of which is  defined by special morphological characteristics.

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Looking for a landing site

Looking for a landing site

August 25, 2014
Technically feasible to fly to, as level as possible, not too much shade, not too much sun − and scientifically interesting: these are the conditions which an area on the surface of comet 67P must fulfil in order to be selected as the landing site for Philae. In an initial selection, researchers and engineers have now nominated five possible candidates. more
Finally there! Rosetta arrives at 67P
ESA's space probe Rosetta has reached the destination of its more than ten year long journey through space. At 11.30 AM (CEST) ESA's control station picked up the long awaited signal: Rosetta has arrived at 67P. The most recent images taken by OSIRIS reveal a world of bizarre beauty.

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Imaging the coma

Imaging the coma

July 31, 2014
Less than a week before Rosetta’s rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, images obtained by OSIRIS, the spacecraft’s onboard scientific imaging system, show clear signs of a coma surrounding the comet’s nucleus. more
Surface impressions of Rosetta's comet
In new images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko surface structures are becoming visible. The resolution of these images is now 100 meters per pixel. One of the most striking features is currently found in the comet’s neck region. This part of 67P seems to be brighter than the rest of the nucleus.  

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The twofold comet

The twofold comet

July 17, 2014
As ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta is slowly approaching its destination, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is again proving to be full of surprises. New images confirm the body’s peculiar shape that earlier pictures had hinted at.

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Three faces of a comet

Three faces of a comet

July 10, 2014
The nucleus of comet 67P is an irregularly shaped body as seen from ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta. New images of the comet obtained by OSIRIS reveal a unique shape. The tiny world that is quickly growing bigger as Rosetta approaches its destination seems to display three prominent structures.

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Rosetta's comet takes shape
Almost there! ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta eases closer and closer to comet 67P and has now reached a distance comparable to the small stretch of space that separates weather satellites in geo-stationary orbit from Earth. In new images the comet’s nucleus is beginning to cover several pixels. The resolved images now give scientists a first hunch of its shape.

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Rosetta's comet returns to slumber
As ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta decelerates in preparation of its rendezvous with comet 67P in early August, the onboard scientific imaging system OSIRIS reveals a surprise: after the first evidence of activity at the end of April, the comet is currently at rest again.

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Rosetta's comet is becoming active
The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of ESA’s Rosetta mission, has begun to develop a dust coma. This can be seen in a series of images taken by OSIRIS, the spacecraft’s scientific imaging system, between March 27th and May 4th. more
A first glimpse of the comet
A little more than four months before the arrival of ESA’s spacecraft Rosetta at the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko researchers led by the MPS have successfully commissioned OSIRIS, the space probe’s scientific imaging system. On the first shots, however, the target comet covers only a fraction of a pixel.
Rosetta&rsquo;s comet wakes up
It’s back! After comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko had disappeared behind the Sun and out of the Earth’s view last year in October, the target comet of ESA’s Rosetta mission can now be seen again. In the most recent image obtained by researchers from the MPS and the European Southern Observatory (ESO) on February 28th, 2014, the comet presents itself brighter than expected for the nucleus alone.
Rosetta is awake

Rosetta is awake

January 20, 2014
ESA's spaceprobe Rosetta has awakend from its more than 30 months of hibernation. Today at 7.18 p.m. Rosetta's signal arrived at ESA's European Space Operations Center in Darmstadt (Germany) - after 42 long minutes of waiting.
VLT spies Rosetta's comet

VLT spies Rosetta's comet

January 20, 2014
ESA's Rosetta spacecraft is scheduled to wake up today after more than 30 months in deep space hibernation. Already, an image obtained on 5. October 2013 from a distance of approximately 500 million kilometers by MPS-researchers with the help of the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope shows the mission's final destination: the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image is the most recent observation of the comet. more
Rosetta's final sprint to the comet
After a long, deep sleep the Rosetta space probe will be awoken on 20 January.The electronic wake-up call heralds the last stage of a journey through the solar system that has lasted more than 10 years. At its end is the unique encounter between the European space probe and the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet in August of this year. more
Press release

Press release

August 20, 2013
Rosetta comet will wake up early
On its way towards the Sun comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, next year's destination of ESA's spacecraft Rosetta, will start emitting gas and dust earlier than previously expected. The comet's activity should be measurable from Earth by March 2014.
Pressemitteilung

Press release

October 27, 2011
Primal rock in space
Lutetia is a real fossil: several areas of the asteroid's surface are around 3.6 billion years old and thus some of the oldest in the planetary system. These findings have been obtained by scientists headed by the MPS. The team has evaluated images which the Rosetta space probe recorded during its fly-by of Lutetia in July 2010. more
Pressemitteilung

Press release

June 08, 2011
Rosetta's first glimpse of the comet
Approximately 163 million kilometers still separate ESA's spacecraft Rosetta from comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, its 2014 target. Despite this remarkable distance, scientists from the MPS have succeeded in obtaining the first images of the remote destination using the onboard camera system OSIRIS. more

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