Comet 67P (Churyumov-Gerasimenko) and The Rosetta Spacecraft
Rosetta’s Mission Target
Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) will be the focus of the Rosetta spacecraft mission over the next year and a half. Rosetta has now arrived at the comet and, after scanning the comet for a suitable landing site this month, will deploy a lander (Philae) to the comet’s surface this coming November.
Discovered in 1969, Comet 67P (Churyumov-Gerasimenko) is a Jupiter family comet measuring 4.5km across. It has an orbital period of 6.5 years and its closest point to the Sun at perihelion is 1.2458 AU (186m kilometres). Although Comet 67P won’t be visible with the naked eye from Earth, the Rosetta Spacecraft will make sure it is seen around the world in unprecedented detail.
The image to the right was taken by Rosetta’s Nav Cam on August 7th, 2014.
ESA have released a stunning composite 3D image of Comet 67P which can be found here.