As Rosetta nears its comet target, it gets a good image of the comet’s coma.
The Rosetta spacecraft is getting ever closer to its comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and is expected to reach orbit around its target sometime this month. As it gets closer, we’re learning more details about this celestial body, and getting new images of it and its composition. Here we see the extended coma, the nebulous halo that surrounds the coma that is caused when the comet gets close to the sun: as the comet warms up, parts of it start to become gaseous.
“Our coma images an area of 150 by 150 square kilometers (90 by 90 square miles),” said Luisa Lara, Institute of Astrophysics in Spain.