Rosetta dust from MIDAS

So one of the Rosetta instruments is looking at the dust in the environment around comet 67P. There’s a blog on the ESA site here about this. In summary, they’re looking for the really small dust, less than 1 micron in size, but they’ve sampled something a bit larger which broke the tip of their instrument, an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). Fear not though, they have other tips so the plan is now to re-image the big piece of dust, which looks to be around 10 micron in size, and see what it’s like. On first pass it looks quite fluffy so I’m thinking it’s not dissimilar to the interplanetary dust particles that I’m measuring in the lab this week. Can’t wait to see more results. There’s been lots of Rosetta information flooding out the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting this week in San Francisco and I’m sad I wasn’t there because lots of data and pictures were shown which we’ll now have to wait until publication to see! Hopefully it won’t take too long until it’s all out in a journal for us to look at.