Comet 67P lacks magnetism

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The finding may invalidate the dominant theory of the formation of comets and other celestial bodies in the Solar System.

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Vienna, Aut. The comet 67P, the dusty snowball pursued by the European space probe Rosetta, which was a celestial body duck-shaped, has a peculiar smell sulfur and emits a strange sound in its interplanetary travel, it does amaze scientists.

Tuesday revealed its new secret: its core is magnetism. The finding may invalidate the dominant theory of the formation of comets and other celestial bodies in the solar system, according to the scientific space mission, Hans-Ulrich Auster.

“If 67P / Churiumov-Gerasimenko is representative of all nuclei of comets, then the magnetic forces did not play a role in the accumulation of more than one meter in size planetary blocks,” he added.

The finding was published in Science and presented simultaneously during the General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union, an organization that brings together students of geoscience and space. The funny thing is that the calculation is made from an accident.

The landing of Philae module (which traveled attached to Rosetta) on the surface of the comet, was not as expected, since the robot packed with scientific instruments the size of a refrigerator, weighing 100 kilos on Earth and lighter than a feather in the weak gravity of the comet, bounced twice before settling in a place of rugged terrain and low exposure to the sun’s rays.

“That complex trajectory was beneficial from a scientific point of view,” the European Space Agency, referring to the magnetometer space mission.

“The unexpected rebound on the surface made can obtain accurate measurements of the magnetic field Philae in points he touched the surface,” said Auster, although he admitted that his was the only mission team to benefit from the misfortune of the rebounds.

Indeed, Philae had only 60 hours of autonomy to perform experiments and send the results to the Rosetta probe. Therefore, after making measurements and observations, the robot fell asleep on November 15.

The European Rosetta mission, which cost $ 1.4 million, seeks to reveal some of the secrets that hold comets, considered by some seeds did reach Earth some of the necessary components for life appeared.

The role of magnetism

The hypothesis that could topple the lack of magnetism of 67P in the formation of the solar system 4,600 years ago, is the following: the celestial bodies were formed from a dynamic disk of gas and dust, including grains of magnetite, a form of iron, whose magnetic fields on a microscopic scale helped accumulate matter creating embryoid bodies. But it is unclear how magnetism helped the process of further aggregation.

Once the body reaches the size of kilometers in diameter, gravity becomes the dominant force. Then, the results presented Tuesday seem to contradict this hypothesis.

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