Rosetta gets up close and personal with a comet, snaps awesome images

October 28, 2014 12:54 PM

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The Rosetta spacecraft is slowly spiraling closer to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, where it will soon release a mall landing craft called Philae. This mission isn’t just about getting to the surface, though. Rosetta is equipped with a range of instruments that will study 67P from orbit. Even before Philae makes its trip to the surface, we’re being treated to some spectacular views of the surface of the comet. Check the gallery above for a ton of great shots from Rosetta, courtesy of the European Space Agency (ESA).

This mission will be the first time we’ve landed a probe on the surface of a comet, but it’s also affording scientists an unprecedented view of P67’s surface. The makeup of comets like P67 was an unknown before Rosetta arrived in orbit. As such, the Philae lander was designed with powerful harpoons ...

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