The sizeable chunk in this view was spotted a few months ago by astrophotographer Jacint Roger from Spain, who dug through the Rosetta archive, processed some of the data, and posted the finished images on Twitter as an animated GIF. He spotted the orbiting object in a sequence of images taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 21 October 2015. ESA/Rosetta/MPS/OSIRIS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA/J. Roger (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Sometimes a pile of data and an eye for detail are all you need to make an amazing discovery. Several months back, Spanish astrophotographer Jacint Roger spotted an object orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko while mining the Rosetta image archive. In case you forgot, Rosetta was the European mission that rendezvoused with the comet in August 2014 and remained in orbit for closeup studies until September 2016.
You can watch the tiny moonlet orbit Comet 67P in this short animation. Also, notice all the jets blasting dust and gases into space. The sun heats the comet and vaporizes ice on and below the surface. The vapor is released through openings in the surface similar to a geyser blast. Sometimes chunks from the comet get taken along for the ride. ESA/Rosetta/MPS/OSIRIS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA/J. Roger (CC BY-SA 4.0)
He found the ...