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A light shining in the darkness

A light shining in the darkness

Date: 28 October 2020
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Philae touchdown site two
Copyright: Images: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS/DLR; all other images: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; Analysis: O'Rourke et al. (2020)

Rosetta's Philae lander touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014 and made multiple contacts with the surface before arriving at its final resting place.

This animated gif focuses on the second touchdown site, which is characterised by a bright patch of exposed water-ice covering an area of about 3.5 square metres. Although the ice was mostly in shadow at the time of the landing, the Sun was directly illuminating the area when these images were taken 22 months later, lighting it up like a beacon to stand out against everything around it.

In this animated gif, every second image has its brightness/contrast fully reduced to show how the ice in the crevice is brighter than all of the surrounding regions.

Last Update: 28 October 2020
14-Jul-2024 04:18 UT

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