Rosetta Spacecraft’s Lander Takes a Selfie with a Comet


You’d be hard-pressed to find a more impressive “selfie” than this!

Attached to the European Space Agency’s comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta, the Philae lander opened one of its robotic eyes when the mission was orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko at a distance of only 50 kilometers (31 miles) on Sunday. With two high-contrast exposures, the lander captured one of Rosetta’s solar panels in the foreground with the comet behind.

SEE ALSO: Meet Rosetta’s Beautiful Lumpy Comet

“#Selfie at #67P – @philae2014’s CIVA camera snapped my solar array in front of the comet :-)” the mission’s official Twitter account tweeted on Wednesday.

Philae is currently going through a series of preparations ahead of its historic landing on the comet’s nucleus, the first time such a feat has ever been attempted. The camera used in this selfie, called the Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser (CIVA), is one of ten instruments the lander will use to study the comet’s surface up-close.

SEE ALSO: More Famous Robotic Space Selfies!

Part of this instrument, called CIVA-P, will compile a 360 degree panoramic image of the probe’s landing site, returning a truly alien view to scientists back on Earth

Next week, mission scientists will announce the location where Philae will land. They are currently deciding that location from 5 possible candidates.

Read more about this iconic photograph and the Rosetta mission here.

Read more…More about Space, Us World, Comet, and Rosetta

via Mashable

Discovery News

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