Rosetta enters 67P's neighborhood as the comet starts taking shape
The current images acquired by European Space Agency's spacecraft Rosetta the nucleus of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko covered a good four pixels.
ESA's spacecraft Rosetta gets closer and closer to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and has now reached a distance comparable to the small stretch of space that separates weather satellites in geo-stationary orbit from Earth. In new images taken by OSIRIS, Rosetta's onboard scientific imaging system, the comet's nucleus is beginning to cover several pixels. The resolved images now give scientists a first hint of its shape.
OSIRIS Principal Investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research describing the recent images said that the comet appears a bit fuzzy and seems to cover a larger area. He futher added that within the next few weeks, 67P's image will grow to a size of 20 by 20 pixels, once Rosetta gets closer to the comet.
Rosetta will be the first mission in history to rendezvous with a comet, escort it as it orbits the Sun, and deploy a lander to its surface.
(Posted on 04-07-2014)
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