The high resolution camera aboard Rosetta has captured this stunning view of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko showing multiple jets streaming away from the surface.
The OSIRIS imaging instrument deliberately over exposed the comet to capture the escaping gas and dust. This view, which was taken on 22 November last year but only just released, is a tantalising glimpse of what can be expected as the comet closes in on the Sun.
“This is still the beginning of the activity compared to what we expect to see in summer this year,” says OSIRIS principal investigator Holger Sierks from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany. “From the last perihelion passage we know that the comet will evolve by a factor of 100 in activity at that time compared to now.”