The Rosetta Probe Flew Really Close to Comet 67p on Saturday. Here’s the Pictures
The Rosetta Probe Flew Really Close to Comet 67p on Saturday. Here’s the Pictures

While the Philae lander sits dormant on the comet’s surface, the Rosetta probe is still busy flying around comet 67p. On Saturday, Rosetta did its closest fly-by yet. It came within 6 kilometers of the comet.

Several images were taken before its closest approach and right after. The four-image mosaic below focuses on a depression on the comet’s small lobe. It was taken at a distance of 35 km and focuses on the Hatmehit region.

Rosetta fly-by

The next image gives us an extremely detailed look at a piece of the comet’s surface. Note the massive boulders in the center and top-center of the image. This image was taken 8.9 kilometers from the comet’s surface and focuses on features in the Imhotep region of the large lobe.

Rosetta fly-by boulders

The image at the top of the post was taken from 31.6 kilometers away after Rosetta made its fly-by. You can see the smaller lobe at the top of the image with the larger lobe at the bottom. I really like how the shadows block out the neck attaching the two lobes.

In a video, the ESA notes Rosetta isn’t actually orbiting the comet. It’s conducting a series of fly-bys.

“What we will be doing is alternating far fly-bys, so maybe 50 km or so, with relatively low speed with close fly-bys with higher speeds. And, with these different flying conditions we really hope to be able to explore completely the environment of the comet,” says Andrea Accomazzo, Rosetta Flight Director at ESA.

You’ve probably noticed a couple of Egyptian names used above. Rosetta scientists opted to use ancient Egyptian naming for all of comet 67p’s features. Here’s two images highlighting every region of comet 67p and the name given to them by Rosetta scientists.

Egyptian names of comet 67p

comet 67p egyptian names

Image credits: ESA

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Your Daily Dose of the Best the Internet Has to Offer

You May Also Like

Opportunity Rover Will Try To Wake Up After A Nearly Three Month Dust Storm Nap

On May 30, NASA first detected the swirling dust storm that would…

What’s Going On With The Opportunity Rover Post Martian Dust Storm?

Engineers back on Earth are hailing the hardy Martian rover. So far,…

Crystal Clear Images of Neptune Show Power of Adaptive Optics

One of the most significant hurdles for astronomers using telescopes on Earth…

Curiosity Rover Stays Busy as Dust Storm Rages on Mars, Snaps Selfie

A Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator means NASA’s Curiosity rover always stays busy, dust…

New Horizons Gets Its First Glimpse of 2014 MU69 (aka Ultima Thule)

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is just over four months away from passing…