Rosetta Sends Postcard Of A Growing Comet

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko photographed by Rosetta’s narrow angle camera on July 4, 2014 at a distance of 22,990 miles. The three images are separated by 4 hours, and are shown in order from left to right. The comet has a rotation period of about 12.4 hours. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team

A quick update and image. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft moved to within 22,990 miles (37,000 km) of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on July 4 and took these fresh images. That’s only about 700 miles farther than the belt of geosynchronous communications satellites orbiting the Earth.

While the new photo is still too low res to show surface features, we can now clearly see the comet’s irregular shape.