How big is Rosetta compared with the comet?

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This short animation explains the relative sizes of the Rosetta spacecraft and comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko.

Rosetta is 32 m from tip to tip of the solar wings. Assuming the comet measures about 4 km across, that’s 125 times the width of Rosetta.

Unlike typical artist’s impressions, this image is scaled to convey the vast difference in size between Rosetta and the comet, even when the spacecraft is in a close 10 km orbit, as depicted here.

Rosetta arrives at the comet at an altitude of 100 km in the first week of August, and will move progressively closer over the following two months, with the intention to orbit at an altitude of just 10 km, depending on the comet’s activity. For Philae’s deployment in November, Rosetta will come to within a few kilometres of the surface.

The comet depicted in this animation is an artist’s impression.

#Rosettaarewethereyet

Credits: ESA

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3 Comments

  1.  This is simply a mind boggling attempt by ESA team. 3 Gravity assists of Earth and 1 from Mars, 5 times around sun – totaling 6 billion kms in travel time of 10 years catching up at speed of 55,000 km/hr … simply an amazing feat !!! Interesting week ahead .. Best of luck ESA, way to go !!!

  2. A Roseta ao lado do cometa é uma anã!!. O que demonstra que o tamanho não contou para realizar a missão ..perante um calhau com uma cauda fluorescente …não impediu a IA de domar um corpo enorme e estranho para a Roseta e para nós!! Um projecto mesmo arrojado!!

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