Imperial College London

Physics at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition - SPAT Group

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'Catch A Comet' Rosetta lander model

The Physics Department's Space and Atmospheric Physics Group (SPAT) presented 'Catch A Comet' at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

Dr Marina Galand and Dr David Clements from the SPAT group were on hand at the ‘Catch A Comet’ exhibit at this year’s Summer Science Exhibition at the Royal Society in early July. The Comet in question is the 67P/ Churyumov - Gerasimenko which is approximately 4km. by 3.5km. The Rosetta spacecraft which has been travelling for ten years, is due to land on its surface in November this year to deliver a scientific laboratory which is expected to reveal the mysteries of the Solar System that span 4.6 billion years.

‘Rosetta will watch the comet’s coma and tail form as it journeys toward the Sun. By investigating how the charged particles and cometary dust interact with the Sun, it will improve our understanding of space weather.’

The history of the comet will be revealed by the analysis of molecules from its core as well as the part it plays in the creation of the Solar System. The probe will carry out a total of nine experiments.

The ‘Catch A Comet’ exhibit, which included a scale model of the Rosetta lander, highlighted the engineering and technology which make such exploration possible.

 

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Reporter

Meilin Sancho

Meilin Sancho
Department of Physics