Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Rosetta-Mission: "Chury's" nucleus is non-magnetic


Knowledge about the magnetic properties of the planets and other solar system bodies allows for insight into their composition, dynamics, and history.

After the Rosetta-Lander Philae's amazing landing on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November 2014, the results of the magnetic field measurements of the two instruments from Braunschweig are now available.

The geophysicists from Braunschweig present their newest results in the journal "Science" as well as at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly (EGU) on April 14th, 2015 in Vienna.

"Churyumov-Gerasimenko is remarkably non-magnetic", says Dr. Hans-Ulrich Auster, leader of the lander-magnetometer team from the Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik (IGEP) at the TU Brauschweig.

Due to its small size, it was not expected to find signs of a dynamo process inside the comet's core, like the process that drives the Earth's magnetic field. However, it was speculated that iron rich, magnetic dust particles could have been aligned along the magnetic field 4.5 billion years ago, which would present as a remnant magnetization.

But the Measurements of the ROMAP magnetometer from Braunschweig on board lander "Philae" show only magnetic fields on the surface that are very similar to those measured by the Rosetta orbiter magnetometer RPC-MAG.

"That fact that the measurements in orbit and at the surface are remarkably similar is irrefutable evidence that the surface magnetic field is mirroring the properties of the magnetic field in the cometary coma", explains IGEP scientist Dr. Ingo Richter, instrument manager of the orbiter magnetometer.

Comet 67P "sings" at the surface, too

The oscillations that are being detected since August 2014, called the "song" of the comet by the scientists, is also dominating the magnetic field directly above the surface. The contribution of the comet's intrinsic magnetic field is well below 2nT, or about a fiftythousandth of Earth's magnetic field.

The combination of data from orbit and at the surface as well as the mutiple touchdowns make it possible to conclude that magnetic fields in the region where this comet was formed did not play a significant role in compacting decimeter-sized grains", says Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier, leader of the Rosetta orbiter magnetometer team. As strong magnetic fields play an important role in understanding the formation of the solar system, the scientists are looking forward to the discussions with their international colleagues.

Further Information

“The non-magnetic nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko,” by H.-U. Auster et al. is published in Science Express on 14 April. []

The results were also presented on 14 April at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2015 in Vienna, Austria, during a dedicated Rosetta mission press briefing. []


Prof. Karl-Heinz Glaßmeier
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Auster
Institut für Geophysik und extraterrestrische Physik
Technische Universität Braunschweig
Mendelssohnstraße 3
38106 Braunschweig
Tel.: 0531 391-5214

Weitere Informationen:

Stephan Nachtigall | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Novel light sources made of 2D materials
28.10.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA
27.10.2016 | University of Oklahoma

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Steering a fusion plasma toward stability

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Bioluminescent sensor causes brain cells to glow in the dark

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Activation of 2 genes linked to development of atherosclerosis

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>