One is reminded of the copper projectile which failed to find significant moisture on another cometary expedition, instead kicking up copious amounts of rock dust, and all the scientific backing and filling and excuse making that followed in defense of the "dirty snowball" theory.
In reading the article which follows, note how carefully they insist that the measurement indicating a lack of ice is a fluke, and the comet will certainly turn out to be a dirty snowball once they dig through the thin layer of non-ice on the surface.
Wouldn't it be funny if, when they fire the harpoons intended to anchor the probe to the comet, they bounce off of solid rock? Or they anchor into loose rubble and then pull free, because it's not the packed, well-frozen ice they were expecting? We shall see.
We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h
FYI, it was -70 degrees celsius
By Iain Thomson, 2 Aug 2014
The comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta has got close enough to its target to start getting temperature readings. The results show that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko isn't the snowball some boffins were expecting.
Between 13 and 21 July Rosetta moved within 5,000 kilometers of the rapidly spinning comet and used its visible, infrared and thermal imaging spectrometer (VIRTIS) to determine the temperature. Rosetta has had to travel more than 6 billion kilometres (3.7 billion miles) to reach it.
At -70°C (-94°F) the comet – right now about 550 million kilometres from the Sun – isn't going to be a top holiday spot, but scientists had expected it to be 20 or 30 degrees cooler.
The data suggests the comet doesn't have an icy surface, but instead has a dark crust of dust over an icy core. As the comet approaches the Sun it will heat up and some of this dust could be ablated to reveal more of the comet's geology to the European Space Agency scientists back here on Earth.
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