Rosetta Gets Up Close and Personal With Comet 67P

Lights in the Dark

The surface of 67P/C-G imaged by Rosetta on Feb. 14, 2015 from about 8.9 km (Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0) The surface of 67P/C-G imaged by Rosetta on Feb. 14, 2015 from about 8.9 km (Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0)

On Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, the Rosetta spacecraft performed a bit of a barnstorming act, swooping low over the surface of comet 67P/C-G in the first dedicated close pass of its mission. It came within a scant 6 km (3.7 miles) of the comet’s surface at 12:41 GMT. The image above is a mosaic of four individual NavCam images acquired just shortly afterwards, when Rosetta was about 8.9 km from the comet.

Higher-resolution OSIRIS images should be downlinked from the spacecraft within the next few days.

The view above looks across much of the Imhotep region along the flat bottom of comet 67P’s larger lobe. (See a map of 67P’s named regions here.) At the top is the flat “plain” where the Cheops boulder cluster can be seen –…

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