Moons may be common, plus transforming neutrinos, new comet images and more in this week’s news
Rosetta captures first comet image
The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, set to become the first craft to observe a comet close up for an extended period of time, has taken its first images of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. At a distance of 163 million kilometers,from the craft, the comet appears only as a faint point of light, but the glimpse confirms that the onboard camera is operating. Rosetta won’t catch a second look at this pristine relic from the solar system’s formation for another 31 months, when the solar-fueled craft awakens from an energy-conserving period of hibernation that began June 8. In November 2014, the craft will release a small lander onto the comet’s icy nucleus. —Ron Cowen
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