Image release allows viewers to tour the Imhotep region of 67P
New ESA images allowthe public to take an in-depth tour of the Imhotep region of67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P). Located close to the comet'sequator, Imhotep is thought to be one of the most geologicallydiverse regions of 67P, with observations of the area contributinggreatly to our understanding of the wandering celestial bodies.
Images of the Imhotepregion were released in the wake of the news that Rosetta's partnerin crime, the Philae lander, had once again fallen silent. Despitethe loss, the orbiter continues to characterize and soak up as muchinformation as possible about the comet as it nears its closestencounter with the Sun, known as perihelion.
Roughly a third ofImhotep is characterized by relatively smooth terrain. It is believedthat these areas were allowed to evolve slowly, with fine grains ofmaterial eroded from nearby cliffs having time to settle andaccumulate.
In contrast, rockierregions dominate the periphery of Imhotep. Here sublimation ofunderground materials has led to the erosion of the landscape,leaving swathes of terrain scattered with debris and boulders.
Mission scientists willbe keen to observe how regions such as Imhotep evolve as the cometapproaches and subsequently distances itself from perihelion, whichwill herald a period of intense activity as frozen materials insidethe comet are released by solar energy.