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New Rosetta selfie, with the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 16 km.

16/10/2014 - 16:00

On October the 7th, one of the CIVA cameras took a new striking image of Rosetta with comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in the background, at only 16 km. The CIVA instrument on the Philae lander (now still attached to the Rosetta orbiter) is a suite of cameras which were developed under IAS responsibility .


At the time of this image, the spacecraft was about 472 million kilometers from planet Earth, but only 16 kilometers from the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


Looming beyond the spacecraft near the top of the frame, dust and gas stream away from the comet's curious double-lobed nucleus and bright sunlight glints off one of Rosetta's 14 meter long solar arrays. In fact, two exposures, one short and one long, were combined to record the dramatic high contrast scene using the CIVA camera system on Rosetta's still-attached Philae lander. Its chosen primary landing site is visible on the smaller lobe of the nucleus.


This is the last image anticipated from Philae's cameras (CIVA) before the lander separates from Rosetta on November 12. Shortly after separation, Philae will take another image looking back toward the orbiter, and begin its descent to the nucleus of the comet. CIVA cameras have been developed under the responsibility of IAS, in collaboration with the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille.



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