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How big is Rosetta compared with the comet?

How big is Rosetta compared with the comet?

Date: 24 October 2014
Copyright: ESA

This short animation explains the relative sizes of the Rosetta spacecraft and comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta is 32 m from tip to tip of the solar wings. The comet measures 4.1 km along its longest length, 128 times the width of Rosetta.

Unlike typical artist's impressions, the images are properly scaled to convey the vast difference in size between Rosetta and the comet, even when the spacecraft is in a close 10 km orbit, as depicted towards the end of the animation.

Rosetta arrived at the comet at an altitude of 100 km in the first week of August 2014, and moved progressively closer over the following two months. It reached 10 km distance from the comet's centre by October 2014.

The image of the comet in this animation was taken by Rosetta's navigation camera.

Last Update: 1 September 2019
1-Dec-2021 07:05 UT

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