Pioneering comet research

In November 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission landed a probe on a comet - a first for such a feat. An EU-funded project used Rosetta data to learn more about the comet in order to better understand the universe we live in.

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


 

Published: 31 January 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Research policyHorizon 2020
SpaceSpace exploration
Countries involved in the project described in the article
France  |  Germany  |  Netherlands  |  Switzerland  |  United Kingdom
Add to PDF "basket"

Pioneering comet research

Image

© Yuriy Mazur #71824509 2019, source:stock.adobe.com

When the Rosetta spacecraft dropped its Philae lander towards 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it made history. It was extending humanity's reach like never before, right onto the surface of a comet hurtling through space.

The EU-funded MIARD project worked on providing an integrated description of the physical and chemical properties of the comet’s nucleus. To do so, it used a wide range of data sets from the Rosetta mission, including the Philae lander.

The MIARD team worked on refining the 3D topography of specific areas of the comet, including defining the nature of the top 10 cm of its surface. The researchers also worked to assess whether the landing site was representative of the entire comet.

All of the new knowledge is being used to improve models of cometary orbits and dust generation. This, in turn, can help to enable better assessment of hazards posed by comets passing near the Earth's orbit.

The project is helping us understand Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the context of other Jupiter-family comets that have orbital periods of less than 20 years. It worked on evaluating what one can learn from the appearance of comets about their evolutionary history, and preparing a scenario for a future cometary sample-return mission.

MIARD researchers placed a strong emphasis on public communication activities, taking full advantage of the visual nature of the data produced by the project.

Project participants believe in the importance of fundamental science, where researchers discover basic facts about the universe, our solar system and the Earth itself. In the end, that is all part of learning who we are and where we came from.

Project details

  • Project acronym: MIARD
  • Participants: Switzerland (Coordinator), Germany, France, UK, Netherlands
  • Project N°: 686709
  • Total costs: € 1 688 423
  • EU contribution: € 984 437
  • Duration: March 2016 to August 2018

See also

 

Convert article(s) to PDF

No article selected


loading


Search articles

Notes:
To restrict search results to articles in the Information Centre, i.e. this site, use this search box rather than the one at the top of the page.

After searching, you can expand the results to include the whole Research and Innovation web site, or another section of it, or all Europa, afterwards without searching again.

Please note that new content may take a few days to be indexed by the search engine and therefore to appear in the results.

Print Version
Share this article
See also
Project website
Project details