The ‘Rubber Ducky’ Comet Is Stressed and Keeps Cracking Its Neck

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According to (This article and its images were originally posted on Live Science February 19, 2019 at 03:55PM.)

(Cover Image)

Rosetta made this image of the comet as it approached
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0
The rubber ducky comet’s head has spent 4.5 billion years trying to twist away from its neck. And that’s caused some stress fractures.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which the European Space Agency explored for two years using its Rosetta probe, takes its name from its dual-lobe shape — which gives it a duck-like head, neck and body. Now, thanks to a new three-dimensional analysis of images from the Rosetta mission, researchers believe the comet is full of fissures, some of them piercing into its neck as deeply as 1,600 feet (500 meters).
On Earth, fissures and cracks tend to originate in movements driven by this planet’s plate tectonics and hot, molten interior. But Comet 67P is cold and dead inside. Its fissures, the researchers said in a paper published Feb. 18 in the journal Nature Geoscience, seem to be the result of its two lobes torquing and twisting against each other in different directions. [Spectacular Comet Photos (Gallery)]

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This article and images were originally posted on [Live Science] February 19, 2019 at 03:55PM. Credit to the original author and Live Science | ESIST.T>G>S Recommended Articles Of The Day.

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