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Swing stones found on the surface of the comet 67P - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 06:00

Rosetta mission team of researchers have discovered an unusual education for a larger proportion of the comet 67p / Churyumov-Gerasimenko in Aker. The pictures obtained September 16, 2014 via OSIRIS cameras spacecraft Rosetta, visible group of boulders, the largest of which reaches about 30 m in diameter. The pictures were taken from a distance of 29 kilometers from the surface of a comet. Remarkably, the detected objects barely touching the surface of a comet.

Similar geological formations found on Earth. So-called "balancing stones" in contact with the Earth a tiny part of its surface. Because of this, the part seems like a stone at any time may lean to one side and roll over. Some of these formations really swinging from side to side, which is why they are called "rocking stones." Impressive examples of balancing debris found in Australia and the southwestern United States. Most of these boulders were transported to their current location glaciers. Other rocks were formed by wind and water erosion from the surrounding rocks.

"How were shaped stones found on a comet - is currently unknown," - says lead researcher Holger Sirks mission of the Institute for the Study of Solar Max Planck Society in Germany. It is possible that on the comet 67P objects were formed as a result of transport processes. The activity of the comet could cause traffic and such large stones. That is one of the versions, and they reached a new location.

"We distinguish these formations and the earlier photographs," - says Sebastian Bess, a researcher at the mission of the ESA, opens mentioned stones. "However, at first it seemed that these boulders do not differ significantly from the others." Freestanding boulders can be seen in many places on the surface of a comet. One of the largest reaches about 45 meters in diameter. Some areas on the surface of the comet 67p resemble a pile of rubble and almost entirely covered with boulders.

"To understand what is depicted in the picture surface of a comet - is difficult enough," - says Sirks. The content of the photograph may be interpreted differently depending on the viewing angle, illumination, and spatial resolution. That is why the findings may not be accurate.

Researchers mission will continue close monitoring of detected entities. New pictures may shed light on their true nature, and perhaps the origin.


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