The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission has sent back some amazing photos as it approaches comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet and prepares to land on its surface. But we have a question: Where’s the tail?
Gerhard Schwehm, former manager of the Rosetta mission, tells Popular Science that the tail as we see it from Earth looks very different up close. “It’s like being in fog,” he says.
Looking at a foggy city from far away, the buildings can seem smothered in a thick gray cloud. But walk the streets and it’s a different story. Clouds of particles can reflect and refract a great deal of light over long distances while still being completely transparent up close.
In a comet’s case, the cloud isn’t very thick at all. (1)
See things from the inside.
See things from the outside.
Nothing is the same.
Not in time.
Not in perspective.
Not in perception.
Not even with itself.
A cosmos created by our mind.
A cosmos full of manifestations of our mind.
A cosmos so illusionary, that it can only be true.
Just accept what you experience.
The comet has a tail.
The comet does not have a tail.
All at the same time…