Rosetta comet chaser captures spectacular image of Earth

November 16th, 2009 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Paris, November 16 (ANI): The OSIRIS instrument on ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Rosetta comet chaser recently captured a spectacular image of the Earth.

The image was acquired with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 633,000 km.

The resolution is 12 km/pixel.

The image is a part of a sequence of images taken every hour through one full rotation (24 hours). The movie will be published later.

The illuminated crescent is centered roughly around the South Pole.

The outline of Antarctica is visible under the clouds that form the striking south-polar vortex.

Pack ice in front of the coastline with its strong spectacular reflection is the cause for the very bright spots on the image.

The OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) is a wide-angle camera and a narrow-angle camera to obtain high-resolution images of the comet’s nucleus and the asteroids that Rosetta passes on its voyage to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

It will help in identifying the best landing sites. (ANI)

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