Thursday, November 12, 2009

First view of Earth as Rosetta approaches home

Earth by OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on-board ESA's Rosetta, from 633, 000 km, 1228 UT, November 12. Resolution is 12 km/pixel. Part of a sequence of images taken each hour through one day later to be published as a movie.

Three images with an orange, green, and blue filter were combined to create this one, an illuminated crescent centered roughly around the South Pole (South at the bottom of the image). 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 [ESA OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA].

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