Comet Rosetta Space Mission

On 6 June 2014, water vapor was detected being released at a rate of roughly 1 litre per second (0. 26 US gallons per second) when Rosetta was 360,000 km (220,000 mi) from Churyumov–Gerasimenko and 3. 9 AU (580 million km) from the Sun. On 14 July 2014, images taken by Rosetta showed that its nucleus is irregular in shape with two distinct lobes. The size of the nucleus was estimated to be 3. 5×4 km (2. 2×2. 5 mi). Two explanations for its shape were proposed at the time: that it was a contact binary, or that its shape may have resulted from asymmetric erosion due to ice sublimating from its surface to leave behind its lobed shape. By September 2015, mission scientists had determined that the contact binary hypothesis was unambiguously correct.



A Moon Made Of Lightweight Fluff! Methone is small and oval--and unlike other tiny objects, composed of rock and ice, that scurry around our Solar System. Methone, which was observed up close for the very first time in 2012, is not pockmarked by impacts like other worldlets of its kind. Instead, this strange little moon, is very smooth--it shows not a hill nor an impact crater anywhere on its weirdly smooth surface. This shiny, white, icy egg in Space, residing in a peaceful nest of ice crystals, is an enigma wrapped in a bewildering mystery that some astronomers may have solved. The answer to the bewitching riddle of Methone? It is composed of lightweight fluff! The scientists also ruled out the possibility that the mysterious features actually exist on Titan's surface in the form of frozen methane rain or icy lava erupted from cryovolcanoes. Such surface features would show a different chemical signature and would be visible for much longer periods of time than the bright features observed in this study. The bright features were visible from time spans of only 11 hours to five weeks. Since its discovery centuries ago, Ganymede has been the target of a great deal of well-deserved attention from the planetary science community. Earth-bound telescopes have gazed at Ganymede's puzzling, icy surface and, in later decades, flyby space missions and spacecraft, circling around Jupiter, have scrutinized Ganymede--trying to solve its numerous mysteries. These observations ultimately unveiled a complicated, icy moon-world, whose bizarre surface showed a strange and puzzling contrast between its two main types of terrain: the dark, extremely ancient and heavily cratered surface terrain, and the much younger--but still ancient--lighter terrain showing a vast array of mysterious grooves and ridges.