A major collection of results from Rosetta was published this week.
After ten years in flight, Rosetta, the European Space Agency’s sophisticated spacecraft, made a rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. They met in August of 2014 at a point 553 million kilometers from the Sun. Ever since, Rosetta has kept pace with the comet as it plunges closer to the Sun on its elliptical orbit.
In the 23 January 2015 special issue of Science, a group of papers offer results from Rosetta’s up-close scrutiny of the comet.
Eric Hand’s summary is a good place to start.
For readers with an appetite for technical detail, there’s an introduction to the group of papers, and links to the research articles themselves may be found there under “Related Content.”
Another magazine, Nature, has a nicely-illustrated rundown on the Rosetta papers.
Science‘s weekly podcast includes an interview with Rosetta collaborator Myrtha Hässig on seasonal variations in cometary activity. The interview begins about 7 minutes and 27 seconds into the podcast.
The new articles cover Rosetta’s early months in the vicinity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The celebrated flight of the Philae lander, which rode piggyback on Rosetta, and its touchdown on the comet’s nucleus, took place later, on 12 November 2014. Philae’s data are, no doubt, being analyzed and written up, and we may expect to see further articles sometime in the months to come.