Image Browser update: approach to comet, plus cruise phase images!

The Rosetta downlink and archive teams at ESAC are pleased to announce that the next set of NAVCAM image data are now available in ESA’s Planetary Science Archive (PSA) and via the new NAVCAM Image Browser tool.

This sequence of 76 images was prepared using images acquired on 30 July and 1 August. The apparent darkening of the nucleus during the sequence is caused by the dependence of the reflectance factor on phase angle, which evolves from 3.4 to 8.5 degrees, when the distance from Rosetta to the comet reduced from 1332 km to 853 km. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

This sequence of 76 images was prepared using images acquired on 30 July and 1 August. The apparent darkening of the nucleus during the
sequence is caused by the dependence of the reflectance factor on phase angle, which evolves from 3.4 to 8.5 degrees, when the distance from Rosetta to the comet reduced from 1332 km to 853 km.
Credits: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

The Image Browser was launched earlier this month with NAVCAM image data from the first half of 2014. The latest set of 214 images, taken between 2 July and 1 August, cover the period when Rosetta moved from 42 980 km to 848 km from the comet, and the shape of 67P/C-G was finally revealed. During this phase, 4-5 images were taken per day for navigation, with one image taken every 30 minutes from 30 July to 1 August.

As an added bonus, the Image Browser has now also been updated with images from the cruise phase of the mission (the underpinning data was already accessible via the PSA). That is, the NAVCAM images taken during the swing-bys of Earth and Mars, and asteroids Steins and Lutetia are now also available via the Image Browser (although note that the cruise phase datasets for Steins and Lutetia only contain navigation images from a far distance, so the asteroids are not resolved).

The next NAVCAM data release is expected on 30 April.

For background information about the Image Browser, see our introductory blog post here or go directly to the Browser here.

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