Comet

Philae takes a Selfie from space

Rosetta_mission_selfie_at_comet

Image of Rosetta’s solar panel and comet 67P/C-G taken by Philae’s CIVA instrument on Sept. 7, 2014 (ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA)

 

If you have not heard recently the European Space Agency (ESA) has a spacecraft in orbit around a comet. The spacecraft Rosetta entered orbit around Comet 67P/C-G in the month of August this year and has been sending pictures back since then. The spacecraft has sent pictures showing that this comet is unique in that it actually has two lobes which are connected by a skinny “neck” in between them. Rosetta has not disappointed with its amazing images but this image shown above is actually a photo taken by the lander Philae which has been going along for this journey and is recently starting to wake up and prepare for a landing on the comet in a couple of months. In this photo you can see one of Rosetta’s long solar arrays being lit up by the sunlight and you can even see the comet in the background. This image really puts the distance in perspective.

When Philae lands on Comet 67P/C-G it will latch on using its legs like a harpoon and digging into the comet. Philae will go for a long ride around the Sun on the comet and taking tests and observations as the comet gets close enough to start forming its Coma and Tail. This is the first spacecraft humans have ever sent to actually land on the comet.

Philae is planned to land on the comet in November 2014.

For more information about the Rosetta mission please go to:

Rosetta-ESA

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