Post-doctoral position at ISSI in Switzerland

Posted in Jobs, MiARD

The MiARD project partner ISSI (the International Space Science Institute) has a two-year post-doctoral position vacant immediately, to work predominately within the MiARD project (on the dynamic behaviour of cometary dust particles). For more information see .

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Comparing different approaches to obtaining stereo information

Posted in Comet 67P, MiARD, Rosetta, Shape

The MiARD project partners at the Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille have been developing both qualitative and quantitative methods to compare the quality of shape models (digital terrain models) of the comet 67P/Churyumove-Gerasimenko. The image below shows two different provisional digital models of the comet (on the left the shape derived from stereo photoclinometry, on the right the shape derived from stereo photogrammetry). The centre image was obtained by the OSIRIS narrow angle camera on board the Rosetta spacecraft. These different images can be compared by eye to give a qualitative idea of the agreement. The datasets can be further processed to quantify the detail agreement (e.g. by looking at where edges are detected).

It should be noted that these small images do not give a true idea of the complexity and resolution of the datasets.


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Cometary Zoo created by MiARD project scientists

Posted in Comet 67P, Comets, Rosetta

ESA’s blog about the Rosetta mission recently highlighted the cometary ‘zoo’ of different kinds of gas molecules that have been detected by the mass spectrometers of the University of Bern’s ‘Rosina’ instrument on the Rosetta spacecraft. In this tongue-in-cheek way of presenting complex chemical concepts, several groups of similar chemicals have been identified and associated with an animal to make them easier to remember.

ROSETTA_THE_COMETARY_ZOO_final-1.jpgImage credit: ESA

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Pictures of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Posted in Comet 67P, MiARD, Rosetta

Although eventually all images from ESA’s navigation cameras (NAVCAM) on the Rosetta spacecraft, as well as those from the OSIRIS camera instrument, will be available from ESA’s Planetary Science Archive, this doesn’t include any way of browsing the images. ESA have, however, provided a separate service which does allow the images to be browsed, and the original dataset to be downloaded. See


Unfortunately, this browser doesn’t offer any options for filtering images, other than to select folders covering particular periods. The MiARD project is working on ways to filter the image selection from ESA’s Planetary Science Archive  (e.g. to only choose pictures taken of a particular area on the comet, or with a particular colour filter). If you have any wishes or thoughts as to how this should be done, then please get in touch with us – james.whitby (at)

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