Comet 67P, up close and personal
CLICK ON IMAGE FOR HIGH RESOLUTION / ESA / Rosetta / MPS for OSIRIS Team; MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA/Elisabetta Bonora & Marco Faccin (Alive Universe Images)
Spacecraft Rosetta continues to approach, circle, and map Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Crossing the inner Solar System for ten years to reach the vicinity of the comet last month, the robotic spacecraft continues to image the unusual double-lobed comet nucleus. The reconstructed-color image featured, taken about 10 days ago, indicates how dark this comet nucleus is [from 62 km out].
On the average, the comet’s surface reflects only about four percent of impinging visible light, making it as dark as coal. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko spans about four kilometers in length and has a surface gravity so low that an astronaut could jump off of it.
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