Rosetta sees distant Pluto
On Sunday 12 July 2015, Rosetta's scientific imaging system OSIRIS was pointed away from comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko to the edge of our Solar System, towards dwarf planet Pluto.
Over five billion kilometres away, an exposure time of more than three hours, and sophisticated image processing, was necessary to detect Pluto in the images. Twenty images, each exposed for ten minutes, had to be stacked and carefully processed to reveal the tiny world.
Left: The unprocessed image is obscured by dust grains in comet 67P/C-G's coma. Middle: Pluto's background of stars as seen from Rosetta. Right: The processed image shows Pluto as a bright spot within the blue circle.
Pluto is the most distant body within the Solar System that Rosetta has ever looked at. On 14 July 2015, NASA's space probe New Horizons made its historic flyby of this distant world passing within about 12 500 km of the 2370 km-wide dwarf planet.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA