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They had discovered a new comet – the remarkable 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko!
Read more details about the discovery of comet 67P/C-G, told from the perspective of both Klim Churyumov and Svetlana Gerasimenko in the profiles of the two astronomers, published on ESA’s Science and Technology website.
Using the Institute’s 50-cm telescope, they took photographs of the night sky, observing each region twice at an interval of 20-30 minutes.Since then, they have eagerly followed the progress of the mission that is now unveiling the many facets of ‘their’ comet.Forty-five years after the discovery, Klim and Svetlana are still active researchers in the field of cometary science.As Svetlana was processing one of these plates on 11 September, she realised she didn’t have much solution to develop the plates, but decided to process that one anyway, before preparing a fresh solution. Svetlana almost threw the defective plate away, but she didn’t.After all, a tiny splotch of light was visible at the centre, and they thought it was comet 32P/Comas Solà.