The image shows the side of the Rosetta spacecraft, featuring one of its 46-foot-long solar arrays, along with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the background, only ten miles away. The comet’s active neck region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from 67P/C-G.
On November 12th Rosetta will deploy a 220-pound lander to a predetermined landing site on the 2.5-mile wide comet.
The image shown here is the last that will be taken before the lander separates from Rosetta, the next being taken shortly after separation, looking back at the orbiter as it descends onto the comet.
Check out this awesome trailer about the Rosetta Mission called “Landing On A Comet”.
Below is a four-image montage taken on September 26th by Rosetta’s navigation camera. The distance at this point was 16.34 miles from the comet, the image showing the spectacular region of activity at the ‘neck’ of 76P/C-G. This is the product of ices sublimating and gases escaping from inside the comet, carrying streams of dust out into space.
(H/T European Space Agency)
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