Lander aboard Rosetta captures Selfie with a Comet

Lander aboard Rosetta captures Selfie with a Comet

The European Space Agency released a picture of one of the Rosetta Spacecraft's 45-foot- solar panels in the foreground with the comet 67P/Churyumov behind. Rosetta is currently moving along the comet and is preparing to put the Philae lander on its surface in November. Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to place a lander on the surface of the comet ever.

The picture was combined using two images that were captured by microcameras on the Philae lander when the spacecraft was about 30 miles from the comet. Philae lander is aboard Rosetta on a decade long journey that started in 2004 and has covered nearly 4 billion miles through the solar system to reach the comet.

Currently, Rosetta is orbiting the comet and will continue to travel with it through 2015. The mission will help researchers on earth understand how the comet will change as it warms due to heat of the sun. More selfies are expected to be clicked by the spacecraft along the way.

The ESA will announce the landing spot on the surface of the comet next week. The lander is 30 inches high and 3 feet across and is equipped with 10 instruments, including the Comet Infrared and Visible Analyzer (CIVA).

The Rosetta spacecraft was designed to orbit and land on a comet in outer-space. The image was recently captured by a special camera onboard Rosetta's Philae Lander called CIVA (Comet Nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer). Multiple exposures were used to bring out the fine details in both the comet and spacecraft.

A 360 degree panoramic image of the probe's landing site will be compiled by part of this instrument, called CIVA-P.


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