News

All is ready for historic comet landing

11 November 2014 Stephen Clark

This week marks the pinnacle of the professional careers of many scientists, when the European Space Agency plans to put down a three-legged robotic lander on a comet, a risky first-of-a-kind endeavor that could rewrite textbooks on the history of the solar system.

Picture This

Rosetta captures a ‘selfie’ with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

15 October 2014 Astronomy Now

The camera on Rosetta’s Philae lander has snapped a ‘selfie’ with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in the distance about 16 km away. The image was taken on 7 October and also captures the side of the Rosetta spacecraft and one of the 14 metre-long solar wings. Two images with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details in this very high contrast situation. The comet’s active ‘neck’ region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface. Image: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA.