The European Space Agency’s comet-chasing spacecraft has imaged its destination for the first time since waking up from 957 days of hibernation.
The Rosetta spacecraft took these images of Comet Churyumov–Gerasimenko as it approaches the nucleus. It'll launch its lander, Philae, in November onto the nucleus's surface.
The Rosetta spacecraft is closing in on Comet 67P/C-G, providing astronomers with an ever more detailed view of its structure. Judging by the latest photos, it actually has two components and is shaped like… a rubber ducky?
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko only woke briefly before starting another nap, expected on-again-off-again behavior that bodes well for the comet-chasing spacecraft's arrival in August 2014.
Europe's comet-chasing spacecraft woke up after a 957-day-long hibernation to begin the most comprehensive comet study to date. Part of its mission: attempt to place an instrumented lander on a comet’s nucleus for the first time.