Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

On August 3rd, after 10 years and 6.5 billion kilometers of travel, the Rosetta spacecraft’s camera captured this stunning image of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.   Image ©  ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta had approached to within 285 kilometers of of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, along gravity assist trajectories looping through interplanetary space. The curious double-lobed shape of the nucleus is revealed in amazing detail at an image resolution of 5.3 meters per pixel. About 4 kilometers across, the comet nucleus is presently just over 400 million kilometers from Earth, between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 3 August from a distance of 285 km. The image resolution is 5.3 metres/pixel. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

After arriving on 6 August, Rosetta will follow a set of two, three-legged triangular trajectories that require a small thruster burn at each apex. The legs are about 100 km long and it will take Rosetta between three and four days to complete each one.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Close-up detail of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA


By planned overexposure of the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko structures in the coma become visible. ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

via APOD,   Universetoday,   Youtube