The nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Composite image of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (the point of light at the centre), recorded on February 26, 2004, at 6:15 UT with the SUSI-2 camera on the 3.5-m New Technology Telescope. It is based on fifteen series of exposures seen in three different wavebands and since the images were aligned on the comet, the images of stars in the field are trailed. The fact that the image of the comet's 'dirty snowball' nucleus is almost star-like indicates that it is surrounded by a very small amount of gas or dust. The distance to the comet from the Earth was approx. 600 million km.
The comet was located in the southern constellation of Libra. The exposures were made through standard B, V and R-filtres and lasted in total 35 min in V, 35 min in R and 45 min in B. The measured magnitudes of the nucleus were approx. V = 22.3 and R = 21.6. North is to the right and east is down. The field in this photo measures approx. 1.0 x 1.0 arcmin2.Credit:
About the Image
|2 March 2004
|651 x 420 px