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Learn about planets outside our solar system through Exoplanets and Alien Solar Systems by Tahir Yaqoob, Ph.D., a book in our online store book collection.
This image shows the orbit of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in aqua. The positions of the comet and planets are shown for February 26, 2004, the planned launch date for the Rosetta mission.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original artwork by Randy Russell.

Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko was discovered in 1969. It is named after the two scientists who found it, Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko.

The comet goes around the Sun once every 6.57 years. The orbit of the comet is not a circle. Its orbit is shaped more like an oval, which is called an ellipse. Sometimes the orbit of the comet brings it closer to the Sun than the planet Mars. At other times the comet is far from the Sun. It goes a little bit further from the Sun than the planet Jupiter does.

The Rosetta space mission will visit this comet in 2014. The spacecraft includes a lander that will touch down on the surface of the comet's nucleus. Scientists think the nucleus of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko is about 3 km wide by 5 km long (about 2 miles by 3 miles).

Last modified March 19, 2004 by Jennifer Bergman.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF