Baton Rouge Astronomical Society Forum

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PostPosted: August 27th, 2014, 4:45 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
67P was discovered in the fall of 1969 by Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko. Interestingly, its period has been shortened with every visit to the inner Solar System. In the summer of 2002 its period was 6.57 years; in the winter of 2009 its period was 6.45 years.

The Rosetta spacecraft has been acquiring some fascinating images of this object. On Friday 12 September at 7:30pm, LSU physics professor Greg Stacy will give a presentation called "Comets" at the Highland Road Park Observatory. The event is free and for ages fourteen and older. Professor Stacy should cover, in part, the Rosetta data on 67P.

More information:
http://www.cometography.com/pcomets/067p.html


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PostPosted: November 1st, 2014, 5:25 pm 
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The Rosetta spacecraft's lander Philae is soon to attempt an incredible feat--landing on the surface of Churyumov-Gerasimenko and anchoring itself down to begin data gathering. The attempt may be on Wednesday 12 November. The chosen site, known as Site J, is little more than four kilometers across.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/rosetta/spot-for-rosettas-lander/


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PostPosted: November 2nd, 2014, 8:33 pm 
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Scientists wanted a periodic comet which had an orbital plane close to the angle of Earth's. They originally chose 46P/Wargentin but a coolant leak in the Ariane-5 main booster didn't allow that window to be used.

A current Astronomy is saying the landing may well be on the 10th. The Philae lander is named after the Greek island where William Bankes discovered the obelisk Champollion used to decipher the famous Rosetta Stone.

More information:
November 2014 Astronomy, pp 26-31


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PostPosted: November 3rd, 2014, 8:51 pm 
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So now there is a third possible date--Sky & Telescope (this month, p. 12) is saying 11 November is the great date. JPL is saying Rosetta will deploy Philae at ~1:35am CST 12 November. Ground stations will receive confirmation of success around ~10:03am CST.

The shape of the nucleus is really a site to behold.

More information:
http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/


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PostPosted: November 8th, 2014, 7:38 pm 
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The countdown is getting short! The Philae lander is scheduled to land on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko this Wednesday November 12 at 9:35am CST. Philae should emit a signal confirming the landing at ~10:02am CST. This would be the first soft landing of a spacecraft on a comet if it happens! The landing site was originally called Site J but now has the name Agilkia.

NASA provided the MIRO microwave instrument, the Alice UV spectrometer and the Ion and Electron Sensor portions of Rosetta.

The Highland Road Park Observatory will be open to the public from 8:30am to 10:30am as NASA provides live coverage of this thrilling attempt.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/rosetta-races-toward-comet-touchdown/index.html
http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasa-television-provide-coverage-european-mission-comet-landing


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2014, 9:47 am 
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The Highland Road Park Observatory is open at this time. There is some commentary being broadcast right now, along with remarks from one of the comet's discoverers.

67P has about 100,000 times less gravity than the Earth. This is the main reason the Philae lander will use harpoons to anchor itself to the surface. Landing is expected to occur at ~10am CST.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/rosetta/european-spacecraft-set-to-harpoon-a-comet-tomorrow/index.html


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PostPosted: November 12th, 2014, 11:07 am 
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Philae has successfully landed on Comet Chur/Ger!


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PostPosted: December 4th, 2014, 5:20 am 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
A series of images show the Philae lander descending to the surface of 67P. There is also an image showing it going into the shadowy area ESA did not want it in. Apparently Philae's feet hit a surface that was soft only for several centimeters; a hard surface was underneath.

ESA has also released a 3D image of the comet nucleus.

More information:
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/rosetta-lander-captured-beforeafter-bounce/
http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/rosetta-comet-landing-in-thud-and-3d/


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PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 8:39 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
This success story deservedly appears as one of the top 100 science stories of 2014 in the January/February 2015 Discover from Kalmbach Publishing. Richard Talcott wrote the brief article on page thirteen.


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PostPosted: February 21st, 2015, 5:28 pm 
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Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The APOD from the 3rd is an overexposed image of 67P--overexposed to highlight the jets. The image was taken in November and released in January. (67P will get its closest to the Sun in August.)

3 February APOD:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap150203.html


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