First image of comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the CIVA camera of Rosetta's Philae lander
Two months prior to its separation, descent, and landing on the Churyumov-Gerasimenko nucleus, the Philae lander of the ESA Rosetta mission delivers its first images of the comet. The 7 micro-cameras of the CIVA instrument, designed and developed under IAS responsibility, will acquire the full 360° panorama of the landing site.
These ultra-light and highly performing micro-cameras can operate down the very low temperatures (< -100°C) of the environment at more than 3 astronomical units from the Sun. Each camera has a 60° field of view, and a full 360° panorama is obtained by combining their images. One of the fields of view will be acquired in stereoscopy by a pair of cameras.
This image, acquired September 8, illustrates the performances of the cameras (dynamics, resolution and depth of field), revealing details of the rear side of one of the Orbiter solar panels (more than 14m long), as well as those of the cometary nucleus, with its very low albedo (5%), 50 km away.
Rosetta mission selfie at comet 67P/C-G, taken on 7 September. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA