What’s Going On in This Amazing, Snowy Video from the Surface of a Comet


This clip is comprised of 25 minutes worth of images from ESA’s Philae lander, and was processed by Twitter user landru79

Credit: ESA/landru79

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Take a look at this remarkable GIF. That snowy-looking scene wasn’t caught on Mount Everest, or in some canyon in Antarctica. That’s the view from a lander on the surface area of a comet.

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Keep in mind Rosetta? That comet-chasing European Space Firm (ESA) probe that released (and inadvertently bounced) its lander Philae on the surface area of Comet 67 P? This GIF is comprised of images Rosetta beamed back to Earth, which have actually been easily readily available online for a while. However it took Twitter user landru79 processing and assembling them into this brief, looped clip to expose the drama they consisted of.

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As a number of astronomers and casual observers mentioned in the replies to landru79’s initial tweet, the “snowstorm” portrayed likely isn’t really a real snowfall of the sort experienced in the world and other worlds. Rather, there are most likely 2 or 3 various phenomena producing the snowy result.

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Up near to the video camera, dust particles backlit by the sun are most likely moving, simulating the appearance of snow in the world. Cosmic rays might likewise be producing snow-like artifacts on the images. And those dots in the background, that seem falling directly down and vanishing behind the cliff? Those seem stars, which appear like they’re falling due to the fact that the comet is turning as it orbits the sun every 6.5 years.

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The clip has actually likewise been accelerated a lot, boosting the drama.

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Inning accordance with the developer, the very first frame of the GIF is an image shot June 1, 2016, at 3.981 seconds past 5 p.m. UTC (1 p.m. Eastern). The last frame is an image chance at 17.017 seconds past 5: 25 p.m. (1: 25 p.m. Eastern) on the exact same day. That suggests that a bit more than 25 minutes worth of action is compressed into this brief clip, so whatever seems moving much faster than it performed in reality.

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However none of that is to interfere with exactly what landru79 managed here, which records something near to the drama of standing on the surface area of a far-away comet (though we have actually never ever attempted that).

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Landru79 stated that in their next job they will utilize the color details Rosetta beamed the home of make a full-color variation of the GIF. Live Science cannot wait to see it.

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Initially released on Live Science.



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