The anatomy of a comet (infographic)

6 Aug 2014174 Views

A high-res close-up of comet designated 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, from Rosetta's cameras

With the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta satellite beginning its historic orbit around the comet designated 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a newly released infographic explains the inner workings of comets.

Comets are some of the oldest objects in our solar system. The Rosetta mission is aiming to secure a probe on the surface of the comet known by scientists as ‘Cherry-Gerry’ to potentially discover clues to one of life’s oldest questions: How did we get here?

Despite knowing that almost all comets are more than 4bn years old, scientists and astrophysicists have only learned so much from observing comets either through telescopes or other scientists, that is, until this latest Rosetta mission.

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Charted below is what scientists claim to know so far with regards to the objects that traverse the celestial highways.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic