Comet over cities in Europe

With less than one day until Rosetta deploys Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, here is a set of images to compare the size of the comet with a few cities across Europe.

Let's start with Darmstadt, Germany, home to ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) where the international media event following the comet landing is taking place this week.


Comet 67P/C-G over Darmstadt, Germany. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data ©2014 Google, Bluesky

Other European cities close to ESA's establishments are also featured below:

  • Paris, France, home to ESA's Headquarters;
  • Amsterdam, close to the European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESTEC) in Noordwijk, The Netherlands;
  • Rome, close to ESA’s centre for Earth observation (ESRIN) in Frascati, Italy;
  • Madrid, close to the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) at Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain;
  • London, close to European Centre for Space Applications and Telecommunications (ECSAT) in Harwell, Oxfordshire, UK.

Cities_comet_Paris Cities_comet_Amsterdam Cities_comet_Rome Cities_comet_Madrid Cities_comet_London



  • Shane Pekny says:

    Hey, how about a comparison for us envious Americans? Might I suggest the distance between the Lincoln Memorial and the National Capitol. (It's about 2.5 miles.)

    Then, if you want to go ahead and drop 67P/C-G right on top of Congress, that would be just fine. Maybe that would capture their attention.

    Love the blog. Thanks!

  • thanks for showing the update on this

  • I would never have thought that it was going to bounce that many times... and isn't it a miracle that your computers can predict that it is going to land smack dab in the middle of so many of Europe's major cities!

    Good luck with the evacuations!

    • Brad says:

      Ok... that comment actually made me laugh

    • Terran says:

      I guess you'd have to evacute to another planet. The movie Deep Impact for instance had a half as big one coming down. 🙂

      • PJ says:

        Nah, no evacuation; you'd just have to sit and watch the rest of the movie.

  • Bill says:

    Nice, but... the straight distance between the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre museum in Paris is 3.3 km to be more precise, not 4.1 km! Maybe Philae could land on the Place de la Concorde in the middle of which stands since 1836 the Luxor obelisk, another egyptian stone decorated with hieroglyphs... as the Rosetta stone does! 😉 But... finally no: you know, the Gauls only feared of the sky falling on their head! 🙂 Ok, not so important, good luck Philae!

  • محمد الدامغ says:

    واضح ان الموضوع شيق لكن مافهمته كامل بسبب اللغة طبعاً

    شكرا لكم وسعتوا صدورنا

    • Joseph says:

      Hello Satwa. I'm glad the English course went well for you. It is very iteresting isn't it.

      • Vnze says:

        Yes because English is the only language in the world amIrite?

        On topic: these pictures shure are interesting. Given the devastation that much smaller celestial objects can cause it's a good thing that this one is at a safe distance! Bravo to ESA for the mission so far and good luck in 1h37m!

  • "Mission accomplished!" Thanks, Brad.

  • Ardit says:

    I don't think the sun is ever at 90 degree angle in any European city to produce such a shadow.
    Good comparisons though.

  • 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko looks like the Rubber Duck of Florentijn Hofman: 😉

  • Thierry says:


    I created an additional rendering comparing the size of 67P nucleus to Brusssels
    See at

  • Can you please make a picture with Lisbon, Portugal?

Comments are closed.