Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2016 October 3

Explore Rosetta's Comet
Image Credit: Science Office, ESA

Explanation: What would it be like to fly around a comet nucleus? To find out, just wait for your WebGL-compatible browser to load a detailed digital model of Comet 67P and then -- go exploring! With a standard mouse, the left button allows you to rotate the comet, the right button allows you to move the comet around, and the scroll wheel allows you to zoom in. ESA's robotic Rosetta spacecraft orbited Comet C67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko from mid-2014 until last Friday, when, after a remarkable and successful mission, it was intentionally set down on the surface and powered down. Among many notable scientific achievements, Rosetta allowed humanity to better understand where comet jets form on comets as they near the Sun.

Transparent Science: Browse 1,350+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library
Tomorrow's picture: eagle's nest

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
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