VLT snap of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in October 2013

This image shows the most recent observations of 4-kilometre diameter comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken on 5 October 2013 by ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) when the comet was around 500 million kilometres away — before it passed behind the Sun and out of view from Earth's perspective.

This image was processed to reveal the comet without any background stars. Viewed towards the centre of the Milky Way, the comet was still so far from the Sun that the icy nucleus was not releasing any gas or dust, and appears as a simple spot. As it approaches the Sun, its surface will heat up and its ices will sublimate, dragging dust out to form a tail.

The observation marks the start of a close collaboration between ESA and ESO to monitor the comet from the ground during Rosetta's encounter with 67P/CG later this year. Rosetta was launched in 2004 and aims to explore the surface of the comet, deploying a lander down onto 67P/CG to see what its surface is like.

Links

Mynd/Myndskeið:

ESO, Colin Snodgrass (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany).

Um myndina

Auðkenni:potw1403b
Tegund:Athuganir
Útgáfudagur:Jan 20, 2014, 10:00 CET
Stærð:1000 x 1000 px

Um fyrirbærið

Nafn:67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Tegund:Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Comet
Flokkur:Solar System

Myndasnið

Stór JPEG
381,9 KB

Þysjanleg


Bakgrunnsmynd

1024x768
304,2 KB
1280x1024
445,7 KB
1600x1200
561,2 KB
1920x1200
610,8 KB
2048x1536
740,6 KB

Litir og síur

TíðnisviðSjónauki
Sýnilegt
R
Very Large Telescope
FORS2