Last year, the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully sent its Rosetta probe into orbit around a comet. Now, finally, scientists have published research on what they’ve concluded from images sent back from the spacecraft to Earth—and what they’ve found is that comet 67P is home to many, many sinkholes.

A study published in Nature this week explains that 18 “cometary pits” have been spotted on comet 67P’s surface.

According to Reuters, some of the pits are very, very large: around 650 feet across and 590 feet. That means some are almost big enough to hold the Great Pyramid of Giza. Some of them are spewing jets of dust into the cosmos.

Most likely, the jet-spewing pits mean that the inside of the comet is rather volatile. Lead study author Jean-Baptiste Vincent explained to the Guardian: “Many comet formation models predict that under the surface they should be homogenous, the same throughout, but we show that this cannot be the case.”

European Space Agency

One of the active sinkholes

NASA’s Paul Weissman told Reuters that “Finding the pits was a total surprise.” Seems like space is full of pyramid-sized surprises these days.

Story Tags



Stories not to be missed!


Why the age you get your period matters — for the rest of your life

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 18:  A protestor holds a black lives matter t-shirt during a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" demonstration in front of the San Francisco Hall of Justice on December 18, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Dozens of San Francisco public attorneys and activists staged a "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" demonstration to protest the racial disparities in the criminal justice system following the non-indictments of two white police officers who killed unarmed black men in Missouri and New York.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The next time someone says 'all lives matter,' show them these 5 paragraphs

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JULY 10:  Singer/songwriter Taylor Swift performs onstage during The 1989 World Tour Live at MetLife Stadium on July 10, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TAS)

Taylor Swift’s stage malfunction last night exposed exactly what it means to be a pop star