Rosetta's comet shows few signs of surface ice | Science News

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Rosetta's comet shows few signs of surface ice

comet 67P mosaic

This mosaic of images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko released on September 2 show faint signs of a jet spouting from the comet's inner neck region.

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Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is as black as charcoal in ultraviolet light and doesn't seem to have many patches of ice on its surface, Rosetta mission scientists report September 5. The findings support previous results suggesting that comet 67P may be covered in a layer of dust, which could influence the touchdown and operations of Philae, the mission lander. The comet's atmosphere does show traces of hydrogen and oxygen, which may offer insight into whether these hunks of dust, rock and ice delivered water to Earth billions of years ago.

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