Hello, World

Rosetta’s last view of home, captured on Nov. 13, 2009

All I can say is ” 🙂 “.

On its way back for its third and last flyby on Nov. 13, 2009, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft captured this beautiful photo of our planet. The illuminated crescent shows the south polar region, with some of Antarctica’s sea ice reflecting brightly through the swirling clouds.

Rosetta used its OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) narrow-angle camera, taking images in orange, blue and green filters which were then combined to make this full-color version.

The spacecraft was 393,000 miles away when this photo was taken. (That’s 140,000 miles further away than the moon.)

ESA’s Rosetta is the first mission designed to orbit and land on a comet. Launched in March of 2004, it is scheduled to rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, establish orbit and release a lander onto the comet’s surface. The mission will attempt to learn more about the composition of comets, and what their contributions were, if any, to the development of life on Earth.


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