Thursday, July 10, 2014

First Waver Vapor Detected From Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

Even when it is still about half way between Jupiter and Mars, some 583 million kilometers from the Sun, comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is losing the equivalent of two 150 ml glasses of water a second (roughly the size of the plastic cups in vending machines and water coolers). At this rate, the comet would fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool in about 100 days. But, as the comet gets closer to the Sun, the water vapor production rate will increase significantly.

The observations were made on 6 June 2014 by Rosetta's MIRO microwave instrument, some 350,000 km from the comet.

The comet nucleus in this image is an artist impression.

Image credit: ESA

Note: For more information, see Rosetta's Comet 'Sweats' Two Glasses of Water a Second and Rosetta's Comet Target 'Releases' Plentiful Water.

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