Skip to main content

Photos: Europe's Rosetta Comet Mission in Pictures

Philae Comet Lander Deployed

ESA/ATG Medialab

An artist's illustration of the European Space Agency's Philae lander (left) after being released from its Rosetta spacecraft mothership on Nov. 12, 2014 to begin a seven-hour descent to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It is the first time such a soft-landing on a comet has ever been attempted. [See Space.com's full coverage.]

ESA Rosetta Philae Separation

European Space Agency

Scientists celebrate in a European Space Agency control room when they get the word that the Philae lander has successfully separated from the Rosetta spacecraft and is on its way down to the surface of a comet. [See Space.com's full coverage.]

Philae Lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

ESA/ATG medialab

Artist's concept of the European Space Agency's Philae lander on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Philae's landing attempt is scheduled for Nov. 12, 2014. [See Space.com's full coverage.]

Comet 67P/C-G Dimensions

Images: NAVCAM; dimensions: OSIRIS

Comet 67P/C-G's dimensions are shown in these two images.

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Oct. 5, 2013

ESO/Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research

This image shows the most recent observations of the 2-mile-wide (4-kilometer-wide) comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, which is the upcoming target of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Rosetta is expected to rendezvous with the comet in August 2014.

Comet Over Paris

ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data ©2014 Google, Bluesky

This graphic compares the size of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of Paris.

Comet 67P-GC Over Rome

Comet: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data ©2014 Google, Bluesky

This graphic compares the size of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of Rome.

Comet 67P-GC Over London

Comet: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data ©2014 Google, Bluesky

This graphic compares the size of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of London.

Comet 67P-GC Over Damstadt, Germany

Comet: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data ©2014 Google, Bluesky

This graphic compares the size of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of Comparing Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of Darmstadt, Germany, home of ESA's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC).

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sept. 26, 2014

ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM

Rosetta spacecraft's navigation camera obtained this four-image montage consisting of images taken on Sept. 26, 2014, from a distance of 16.3 miles (26.3 km) from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The comet nucleus stretches about 2.5 miles (4 km across).

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.