Comet 67P too hot to be covered in ice

ESA’s comet chaser Rosetta has made its first temperature measurements of its target comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, and found that it is too hot to be covered in ice and must instead have a dark, dusty crust.The observations of the comet were made by Rosetta’s visible, infrared and thermal imaging spectrometer, VIRTIS, between July 13 and 21, when Rosetta closed in from 14 000 km to the comet to just over 5 000 km. The comet was roughly 555 million kilometres from the Sun at the time – more than three times further away than Earth, meaning that sunlight is only about a tenth as bright.At these distances, the comet covered only a few pixels in the field of view and so it was not possible to determine the temperatures of individual features… »

Source: Solar News

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