Rosetta blog: Philae’s descent: The director’s cut

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This blog post is contributed by Mark McCaughrean, Senior Science Advisor during ESA.

On 30 July, a initial papers covering a systematic formula performed by Philae on a aspect of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko were published in Science magazine. On that occasion, we expelled a series of images taken by Philae on 12 Nov 2014, including a method of 7 taken by a ROLIS downward-looking camera towards a finish of a skirmish to a lander’s initial touchdown indicate during Agilkia, formerly famous as Site J. (As is now well-known, Philae rebounded after quickly touching down during Agilkia, eventually entrance to rest during a site called Abydos.)

Now, to symbol a initial anniversary of a preference of Site J as a aim for Philae, we are releasing a “special edition” chronicle of that ROLIS picture sequence. The 7 still images, any spaced by 10 seconds, have been interpolated in time to emanate a film that shows Philae’s skirmish between 67 metres and only 9 metres above a aspect in real-time, holding only underneath 1 minute. The film ends during that point, as there are no serve images in a sequence: Philae had overwhelmed down during Agilkia before another 10 seconds had passed.

Having worked with Jakub Knapik, visible effects administrator during Platige Image, Warsaw on a brief sci-fi film, “Ambition“, we were gay when he took those 7 ROLIS images and used state-of-the-art visible effects collection to introduce between a images to emanate this film sequence.

(For a technically-curious among you, Jakub used a VFX compositor NUKE from The Foundry to re-project a strange set of 7 images in 3D, thereafter rendered an interpolated method regulating a tracked 3D camera that mimicked a trail of Philae during a descent.)

If we demeanour closely during a strange 7 ROLIS images we will notice that there were information drop-outs in some of them: Jakub was means to fill these regulating information from prior or following images, detached from during a commencement of a movie, where some teenager cloning of information was indispensable to fill some holes. Also, Jakub masked out a tools of Philae seen during top-left and top-right in a images before interpolating, replacing them afterwards.

The outcome is a beautiful, roughly tranquil movie, display only what Philae would have witnessed as it drifted solemnly down onto Comet 67P/C-G during walking gait on 12 November. We have combined some heading material, nonetheless a times, distances, and resolutions shown are not indispensably accurately in sync with a images.

We also felt that this film deserved a soundtrack, and are really beholden that Jem Godfrey of Frost* has authorised us to use a instrumental chronicle of “Saline” from their 2008 album, “Experiments in Mass Appeal” for this purpose.

To be clear, there are no instruments on Philae or Rosetta able of holding loyal real-time video, and in any case, it would be intensely formidable to downlink such a vast volume of information over a outrageous stretch between 67P/C-G and a Earth.

So, we wish to highlight again that a tender information creation adult this film are a same 7 ROLIS images already expelled on 30 Jul and for any critical analysis, we should impute to them.

But we consider Jakub’s film chronicle gives a most some-more abdominal sense of a initial ever soft-landing on a comet and are happy to share it with you. Enjoy!


Original skirmish method images: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR, Stefano Mottola
Sequence interpolation and editing: Jakub Knapik, Platige Image
Music: “Saline” (instrumental version), from “Experiments in Mass Appeal”, Frost*/Jem Godfrey
Overall film editing: Sarah Poletti and Marc Thiebaut (ATG/medialab for ESA)


Source: Rosetta blog