18 september 2016 | 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko



Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0.

Single frame enhanced NavCam image taken on 18 September 2016, when Rosetta was 12.1 km from the centre of the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The scale at the surface is about 1.0 m/pixel and the image measures about 1.1 km across.

The image depicts the dust-covered terrains of Ma’at, on the small comet lobe, where Rosetta is destined to make a controlled impact next week. The spacecraft will aim at a point just right of the image centre, next to Deir el-Medina, the large pit located slightly below and to the right of centre in this view.

Deir el-Medina is about 130 m-wide and, like other pits located in the Ma’at region, exhibits intriguing metre-sized lumpy structures called ‘goosebumps’ on its internal walls. During the descent, Rosetta will collect unprecedented close-up views of these structures, which scientists believe could be the signatures of early ‘cometesimals’ that assembled to create the comet in the early phases of Solar System formation.

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