Analysis of recent radio signals from Rosetta unexpectedly helped the scientific team mission to get a photo of the place of its landing on the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, obtained with a height of only 18 meters from the surface of a celestial body, according to the ESA website.
“We used to think that the last was the picture that “Rotta” passed seconds before falling in the region of SAIs, which is now buried her remains. Later, we started the analysis of telemetry is stored on our servers, and with great surprise noticed that they can be “buried” one more shot” — said Holger sirks (Holger Sierks) of the Institute for the study of the solar system in göttingen (Germany), one of the creators of the OSIRIS camera on Board Rosetta.
After a successful landing Philae on the comet surface in November 2014 and implementation of all main objectives of the mission “Rosetta”, ESA decided to extend the mission until September 2016 and complete her landing of Rosetta on the comet surface.
This operation was successfully carried out on 30 September this year, during which the probe was able to transmit photographs and data obtained from record-low height — only 25 meters from the surface of the comet. In addition, the probe recorded a strange swings in temperatures on the surface of a celestial body and a few other unexpected things that has forced scientists to re-examine data that was submitted by the probe during the fall.
ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
It tells Sirks, “Rosetta” throughout his works to convey the data is not regular, and in the form of special data packets, each of which contains approximately 4 kilobytes of data. On average, each picture received by the probe, was approximately 25 KB, and therefore the operating system “Rosetta” divided them into six parts before sending it to the Ground.
The program, analyze the signal on the Ground, alerted the scientific team of “Rosetta” new photos only when it has received all the six data packets and restored the. Therefore, even if the “Rosetta” took another shot and handed over five of the six packages, scientists could not know that in their hands was almost a full picture.
As discovered by Sirks and his colleagues, “Rosetta” delivered to Earth in about half a packet of pictures taken from a height of 18 meters from the surface of the comet. These packages, as noted planetary scientists, was organized in such a way that their loss has not led to the disappearance of the half picture and to a loss in its definition.
Using special algorithms to recover these incomplete pictures, European astronomers were able to recover this picture and use it to verify the situation to the point where now rests the probe. Its area, as the researchers note, is only one square meter, a record not only for “Rosetta”, but all space stations in General.