In Images: Rosetta Spacecraft's Last Comet Photos During Crash-Landing

Rosetta 3.6 miles (5.8 km) from Comet 67P

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 08:18 GMT from an altitude of about 5.8 km during the spacecraft’s final descent on 30 September.

Comet 67P from 5.5 miles (8.9 km)

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 06:53 GMT from an altitude of about 5.5 miles (8.9 km)during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

Comet 67P from 7.3 miles (11.7 km)

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 05:25 GMT from an altitude of about 7.3 miles (11.7 km) during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

Comet 67P from 9.8 miles (15.5 km)

ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS wide-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 02:17 GMT from an altitude of about 9.8 miles (15.5 km) above the surface during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 30.

Comet 67P from 10 miles (16 km)

ESA

Rosetta’s OSIRIS narrow-angle camera captured this image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from an altitude of about 10 miles (16 km) above the surface during the spacecraft’s final descent on Sept. 29 at 9:20 p.m. EDT (Sept. 30 at 01:20 GMT).

Comet 67P from 10.8 miles (17.4 km)

ESA

NavCam took this photo on Sept. 29 at 8:59 p.m. EDT (Sept. 30 at 00:59 GMT), when Rosetta was 10.8 miles (17.4 km) from the center of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comet 67P from 11.2 miles (18.1 km)

ESA

NavCam took this photo on Sept. 30 when Rosetta was 11.2 miles (18.1 km) from the center of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comet 67P from 11.6 miles (18.7 km)

ESA

NavCam took this photo on Sept. 29 when Rosetta was 11.2 miles (18.7 km) from the center of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comet 67P from 12 miles (19.4 km)

ESA

NavCam took this photo on Sept. 29 when Rosetta was 12 miles (19.4 km) from the center of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Comet 67P from 12.4 miles (20 km)

ESA

Rosetta's NavCam took this photo on Sept. 29 at 6:53 p.m. EDT (22:53 GMT), when Rosetta was 12.4 miles (20 km) from the center of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

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Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time, Hanneke enjoys exploring the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.