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.
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.
via APOD, Universetoday, Youtube
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