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Rosetta's comet seen by Gaia

Rosetta's comet seen by Gaia


Date: 02 November 2015
Satellite: Gaia
Depicts: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Copyright: ESA/Gaia/DPAC. Acknowledgement: F. Mignard & P. Tanga, Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, France

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, imaged by Gaia, on 14 September 2015.

At that time, the Rosetta spacecraft was about 300 km from the nucleus of the comet, while Gaia was over 260 million kilometres away. The comet had reached the closest point to the Sun on its orbit about a month earlier, on 13 August.

The image shows the comet's coma and tail. The nucleus and Rosetta, which was some 300 km from the surface at the time, are both hidden in the innermost pixel. A number of background stars are also sprinkled around the image, which measures about 4.5 arc minutes across – about one-seventh of the Moon's diameter.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
10-Jul-2020 00:56 UT

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