Posted on 13/11/2014 by Claudia
Philae’s landing through Rosetta’s eye
After Philae separated from its mothership yesterday, the OSIRIS imaging system on Rosetta shot a series of images following the lander’s descent to its destination on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Separation occurred onboard the spacecraft at 08:35 GMT (09:35 CET), with the confirmation signal arriving on Earth at 09:03 GMT (10:03 CET).
This is how Philae appeared to Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera a couple of hours after separation, at 10:23 GMT (onboard spacecraft time). This image shows details of the lander, including the deployment of the three legs and of the antennas.
And here is how the descent proceeded:
This series of images showing Philae’s descent to the surface of the comet were taken with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera between 10:24 and 14:24 GMT (onboard spacecraft time). More images showing Philae closer to the surface are still to be downloaded.
Here is another image, this one taken with the OSIRIS wide-angle camera, which shows the position of Philae (circled) at 14:19:22 GMT (onboard spacecraft time).
And this is where Philae made its first touchdown on Comet 67P/C-G. It is thought that Philae bounced twice before settling on the surface of the comet, and the location of the first touchdown point is marked in this image from the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera (which was taken from a distance of 50 km on 2 September 2014, prior to landing).
Philae’s first touchdown point is also marked in this image taken with the OSIRIS narrow-angle from a distance of 30 km on 14 September 2014 (prior to landing).
Finally, here is a five-image montage of OSIRIS narrow-angle images that is being used to try to identify the final touchdown point of Rosetta’s lander Philae. The red cross marks the first touchdown point.
These images were taken around the time of landing on 12 November when Rosetta was about 18 km from the centre of the comet (about 16 km from the surface).
The signal confirming the first touchdown arrived on Earth at 16:03 GMT (17:03 CET). It is thought that Philae bounced twice before settling on the surface of the comet. The lander has not yet been identified and images are still to be downloaded from the Rosetta spacecraft for further analysis.