Mission Rosetta The European Space Agency (ESA, in English) is more alive than ever before, despite the fact that in September 2016 he "committed suicide" with an uncontrollable landing on his study dragon, 67P / Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P / CG). So it's no longer operational. If in the beginning of October we gave a probe to a new picture of your study dragon, now satellite brings a new discovery.

One of the main objectives of the ESA was to study the plasma, so Rosetti had to see Shockbow near Cometa 67P. But although the researchers watched, they could not find it. In space missions, these situations may occur: you expect to discover a phenomenon that you can look at, but you can not see it. Nevertheless, the mission was not regarded as a failure; on the contrary, the probe provided a great deal of information about comets and space. However, according to a new data study, Rosetta hit it, which was at an early stage, and was therefore initially unannounced, as the ESA explained in a press release.

Two years Rosetta with tolerance, observed comet 67P "from different aspects", points to the European agency and although no one noticed it, he often crossed the bow thruster. For this reason, the probe performed "in situ measurements of this mysterious part of the space".


But what is this from the shock of the shock? One of the best ways in which scientists must study the plasma of the solar system are comets. "Plasma is a hot and gaseous state of matter that includes charged particles and is in the solar system in the form of a solar wind, a constant stream of particles that our star pours into space," explained the ESA. The moment when solar wind "passes in addition to objects such as planets or smaller bodies, first exceeds what is known as the collision arc", they warn. This means that this phenomenon "can be compared to the wave that forms around the bow of the ship during the navigation of restless waters," says the European agency.

67P is not the only commentary that saw the shock of a shock. The surrounding Halley managed to climb. "Plasma phenomena are different, as the medium does the environment and changes the size, the shape and nature of structures, such as shock arches, "they explain.

It's closer to the center than expected

Between 2014 and 2016, the Rosetta mission sought signs of this phenomenon and "moved away more than 1,500 miles from the center of the comet in search of the great comet boundaries" and initially it seemed that all efforts were useless. But when you look at the information they found, finally.

"We searched typical shock on the arc where you could expect, far from the nucleus of the comet, but we did not find anything, so we came to the conclusion that Rosetta could not detect it, "explains Herbert Gunell of the Royal Astronomical Institute in Belgium and the University of UmeƄ (Sweden), one of two scientists they conducted the study. "But it seems to be the probe discovered a blow, but it was in the early stages. We found something during the new data analysis 50 times closer to the core of the comet than was expected in the case, such as 67P. It also moved in a way that we did not expect, so we did not see it at the beginning. "

There is two key dates when watching Rosetta's shock arc. The first data since March 7, 2015, 67 times twice as far from the Sun as the Earth and as it approached the stars, "Rosetta data showed signs that a shocking arc began" point from the space agency. The following data is from February 24, 2016, when the comet was far from our star.

And now, when the researchers realized that "this was the limit asymmetric and wider than fully developed shocks which have been observed in other comets, "the ESA said.

"Rosetta was first cover such an early stage of development a shocking arc around the comet, "notes Charlotte Goetz, Institute of Geophysics and Physics, Braunschweig (Germany) and co-author of the study." The shaped bow in 2015 was developed until it reached full development when the comet approached the Sun and increased its activity; but we could not see this in Rosetta's data because the probe was then too close to 67P to detect an arc an adult. When Rosetta regained it, in 2016, the comet drifted away from the Sun, so that the bow at this point was in the same state, although instead of being formed it dissolved"adds.

What is Rosetta?

In 2004, the ESA mission was sent to Comet 67P in order to observe "the interior, the study of the gas and the dust it surrounded, and exploring your plasma environment", according to the ESA.

To carry out this work, it had a probe up to 11 scientific instruments (among them is a series of instruments consisting of five different sensors for studying the plasma surrounding the comet), all in order to achieve better knowledge of comets and also the origin of the solar system. Herbert, Charlotte and their classmates researched data collected by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium and "Plasma model data was pooled simulate the interaction of a comet with the wind and determine the properties of a shock arc, "concluded the ESA.