Sunday, July 11, 2010

A European probe shows us a new world

The press release says it well: "The European Rosetta spacecraft has achieved a further milestone on its journey to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko. On 10 July 2010 at 17:45 CEST, the orbiter flew past asteroid Lutetia on its second and final pass of the asteroid belt at about 15 kilometres per second - 54,000 kilometres per hour - merely 3162 kilometres from the asteroid. The confirmation was delivered at 18:10 CEST to ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt."
This asteroid had been only a point of light for astronomers using telescopes. Now this world, looking a bit like a battered potato, emerges into the light of science. Click the title link to see the crystal-clear images.

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