Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Comet 67P

The comet 67P being investigated by the Rosetta and Philae space craft has this spectacular cliff-face with cobbles appparently sticking out of finer material.  The resolution of the original image is about 1-2 metres/pixel.  These boulders may be 10-20 metres across.  The similarity to boulder-clay inclusions, or Budleigh Salterton pebbles, though much, much bigger, poses questions as to how they formed in the comet.  They definitely look sub-rounded or ellipsoidal or oblate.  What erosion process could hew such large boulders? And then emplace them in the matrix.  They seem to have previously been internal to the matrix, but exposed now.  The comet may have originated as part of a much bigger planet with gravity and atmosphere to allow boulders to be formed.
Sent to the blog by Richard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The rugged, sharply pointed landscape has to be a major surprise. Stiff rock bounced Philae like a beach ball. Failure of the drill to penetrate showed that we're seeing a very hard, and probably brittle surface, somewhat like glass. The comet is very dark.

What could that be? Could the roundish boulders be volcanic bombs?