Spectacular photos taken by the Rosetta space probe during its 4 BILLION mile journey to reach a comet show in stunning detail one of the most important scientific journeys of this century
- Images taken from the Rosetta spacecraft show incredible close-up shots of the 2.5 mile-wide space rock
- The comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko orbits the Jupiter in a mission run by the European Space Agency
- Rosetta space craft orbited the comet for more than two years, between 2014 and 2016
- The probe’s high-resolution imagery shows comet activity in the best detail scientists have ever seen
9 May 2019
Incredible images captured by the Rosetta space probe show in fascinating detail the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
New high-resolution pictures, released as part of a huge archive of 70,000 photos, show comet activity in the best detail that scientists have ever seen.
The Rosetta space probe, cited as one of the most important scientific journeys of the century, orbited the 2.5 mile-wide space rock orbiting the planet Jupiter – between 2014 and 2016.
The high-resolution images include cracks, tall rock faces, and spectacular ‘dust fountains’, which are formed as the sun’s radiation caused parts of the comet’s surface to erupt and burst open.
They were released by the European Space Agency which ran the mission and has now made the full image archive available online.
The archive is a joint project with Flensburg University of Applied Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research.
Incredible images captured by the Rosetta space probe have just been released as part of a huge archive of 70,000 photos. They highlight key features of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
The pictures were captured on Rosetta’s Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS), shows the comet activity in better detail than scientists had ever seen before.
Some shots show parts of the comet’s surface cracks from being burst open in jets of ice and dust as it swept closer to the sun.
The groundbreaking Rosetta probe was the first man-made machine to orbit a comet and land a module on its surface in 2014.
Along with Philae, its lander module, Rosetta performed a detailed study of comet 67P of which during its journey, the spacecraft flew by Mars and the asteroids 21 Lutetia and 2867 Šteins.
The aim of the mission was to explore the small, icy worlds and give clues to the early solar system as comets like these are representative of what the solar system used to look like billions of years ago.
Rosetta’s mission concluded as planned in 2016 with a controlled impact onto the 67P comet it had been investigating for more than two years.
Over the next two years it produced a wealth of data, providing valuable clues about the origins of the solar system and life on Earth.
One of its key discoveries was an unusual form of water not common on Earth, suggesting that comets similar to 67P were not responsible for bringing oceans to our own planet.
Comet: Photographs from the Rosetta Space Probe, published by Thames & Hudson, will be released at the end of the month. Pre-order here
The images include strange cracks, tall rock faces, and spectacular ‘dust fountains’, which are formed as the sun’s radiation caused parts of the comet’s surface to erupt and burst open
Jaw-dropping photos taken by the Rosetta Space Probe allow the viewer to transport themselves into the emptiness of Space and explore one of the universe. Here, a picture of Mars taken from the space craft
A bird’s-eye view of the smaller lobe of 67P. Different areas of the comet were given nicknames by scientists. Here we see Hathor, on the illuminated small lobe, between Anuket and Ma’at
One of its key discoveries was an unusual form of water not common on Earth, suggesting that comets similar to 67P were not responsible for bringing oceans to our own planet. Here, a close up of 67P
WHAT IS COMET 67P AND THE ROSETTA PROBE?
Comet 67P orbits Jupiter at a rate of once every six-and-a-half years
The comet, known as ’67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’, or just 67P for short, orbits Jupiter at a rate of once every six-and-a-half years.
It was named after the two Soviet astronomers who discovered it in 1969, and measures around 2.7 by 2.5 miles (4.3 by 4.1 km) at its longest and widest points.
The comet was the focus of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission, launched on 2 March 2004.
Rosetta was sent to study the comet’s activity and to launch a lander probe to its surface, known as Philae.
Rosetta reached 67P in 2014 and crash landed into the comet in September last year after it had completed its recon mission.
New details from the probe’s readings are still coming to light today as scientists sift through Rosetta’s stunning imagery.
ESA’s Rosetta mission launched in March 2004 en route to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. It finally arrived in 2014, and studied the comet for two years before ending its mission with a controlled crash into its surface