Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ESA Rosetta Team release composite picture of Comet 67/P

Four-image mosaic of Comet 67P/C-G on 30 October. 

Credits: ESA /Rosetta /NAVCAM

The mosaic comprises four individual NAVCAM images taken on 30 October when the Rosetta spacecraft was 26.8 km from the centre of the comet.

The image resolution at this distance is 2.27 m/pixel, and thus each 1024 x 1024 frame covers 2.3 km at the comet. The slightly cropped mosaic covers 4.0 x 3.7 km.

Even at this increased distance from the nucleus, the time between the four NAVCAM images means that it is difficult to make a completely accurate mosaic.

Thus, as always, caution is needed in interpreting some features on the surface and faint emission around the nucleus.

The four individual images that make up this mosaic are provided here.

The centre of the landing site is located roughly in the top centre, close to the horizon in this viewing angle; check against this image to help with orientation.

The large depression that characterises the smaller lobe of the comet can be seen in the right-hand side at top right, while parts of the larger lobe can be seen in the lower half, with the still unseen portion of the comet again cast in dramatic shadow.

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