Rosetta’s amazing comet ‘selfie’ from 16km altitude

14 Oct

16 km.

That’s how high Rosetta was when it snapped this picture. Just incredible.

Can’t wait for pictures from the landing! Less than a month away until that happens.

The Rosetta spacecraft captures a 'selfie' from 16 km above the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimengo. Two images with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details in this very high contrast situation. The comet's active ‘neck' region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface. Rosetta's solar panel is visible in the foreground. The images were taken October 8 and released October 14, 2014. (CREDIT: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)

The Rosetta spacecraft captures a ‘selfie’ from 16 km above the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimengo. Two images with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details in this very high contrast situation. The comet’s active ‘neck’ region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface. Rosetta’s solar panel is visible in the foreground. The images were taken October 8 and released October 14, 2014. (CREDIT: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)

Wrote this for Sun News Network today:

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft released a spectacular image Tuesday as it floated a mere 16 km above the surface of a comet.

Rosetta arrived at 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimengo in August after travelling more than a decade through deep space to catch-up with the comet, made of rock and ice.

The spacecraft is currently lowering its obit in preparation for November 12, when part of the probe will touchdown on the surface.

The landing will be the first time in history that a probe sets down on a comet.

Scientists hope to unlock the secrets of how the solar system – and the Earth – formed by studying the comet, which serves as a time capsule from 4.5 billion years ago.

Rosetta and Comet 67P currently sit about 478 million km from Earth, between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter.

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