First Image of Tempel 1

Stardust's first image from its February 14 encounter

The first image taken by Stardust-NExT as it approached Tempel 1, the comet’s nucleus in clear view but still rather far away. Luckily the comet was centered in the field of view for all the images, but it will take some time to get to the closer-pass images in the download stack. (The 5 closest-pass images were requested first, but the spacecraft did what it wanted and sent back image data starting at #1.) 72 images were taken during the pass.

We’ll just have to have patience! More to come.

Received on Earth at appx. 12:50 am PST on February 15, 2011.