Public Talk: Rosetta – Europe’s Comet Chaser

February 2, 2015 – Jon Pineau, of Stellar Solutions, will be presenting a talk entitled “Rosetta – Europe’s Comet Chaser”. Pineau currently leads the operations team for the Ultraviolet (UV) spectrometer instrument called Alice onboard the Rosetta spacecraft orbiter. Pineau has also worked on comet mission Stardust, Mars orbiters and landers, the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station and the new human capsule Orion.

In August of 2014, Rosetta became the first spacecraft to orbit a comet. Rosetta’s rendezvous with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has opened a new chapter in Solar System exploration. Comets are considered to be the building blocks of the Solar System and may have helped to seed the Earth with water, making life possible. Rosetta will help answer fundamental questions about the origin and evolution of our solar system and the role that comets may have played.

The Alice instrument, built by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, is a highly miniaturized spectrometer designed to probe the atmosphere and surface of Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko/67P. Spectrographs split or disperse light – ultraviolet light in Alice’s case – from objects into wavelengths. Alice’s data is being used to analyze the composition of the comet’s atmosphere, map its surface, and study the properties of fine dust particles coming off the comet.

Pineau’s talk will be held on Tuesday, February 3rd, in CU’s Engineering Center, Room ECCR 245, in Boulder, Colorado from 5:30 – 6:30pm. For more information visit: