After a 10 year-long journey chasing its target, Rosetta has today become the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet, opening a new chapter in Solar System exploration. Here’s how the view must have been:
The image shows Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on 3 August from a distance of 285 km. The image resolution is 5.3 metres/pixel. The image was exposed for 1.6 seconds. It is unprocessed, just brightness scaled.
Here’s another image, showing the “other” side of the comet. The two images are separated by about 4 hours (120 degree comet rotation).
And if you’re wondering about the comet’s activity, here’s another recent image that shows the surroundings of 67P/C-G’s nucleus:
It was taken by Rosetta’s OSIRIS wide-angle camera on 2 August 2014, from a distance of 550 km. An oxygen-I gas filter with a central wavelength of 631.6 nm was used. This narrowband filter has 4 nm bandwidth.
Read more about Rosetta’s rendezvous with the comet here.