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Old 11-12-2009, 08:00 AM   #1
Dantheman62
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Default First view of Earth as Rosetta approaches home


Rosetta Flight Control Team in action

4 November 2009
ESA’s comet chaser Rosetta will swing by Earth for the last time on 13 November to pick up energy and begin the final leg of its 10-year journey to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. ESA’s European Space Operations Centre will host a media briefing on that day.

This will be the third Earth swingby, the last of Rosetta’s four planetary gravity assists. Closest approach to Earth is expected at 08:45 CET (07:45 UT). The swingby will provide exactly the boost Rosetta needs to continue into the outer Solar System. The spacecraft is scheduled for a close encounter with asteroid 21 Lutetia in July next year, before it goes into hibernation early in 2011, only to wake up in early 2014 for approach to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

As the most primitive objects in the Solar System, the chemical composition of comets has not changed much since their formation. They preserve a record of the early Solar System.


When it reaches 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, Rosetta will be the first mission to orbit and deploy a lander on a comet. It will help to reconstruct the history of our neighbourhood in space.
The spacecraft is operated from ESOC, ESA’s European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany.


RSVP requested

Media interested in following Rosetta’s last Earth swingby may participate in a press briefing organised at ESOC on 13 November. Time: 8:15 – 9:15 CET
Location: ESA ESOC, Robert Bosch Strasse 5, Darmstadt, Germany RSVP via telephone or email (contact details below) before 11 November 2009.


Those unable to attend can follow near-realtime updates on:

The Rosetta blog (esa.int/blog)
The ESA Rosetta website (esa.int/rosetta)
The ESA Spacecraft Operations website (esa.int/ops)

A timeline of critical events is available on the Rosetta website.

Last edited by Dantheman62; 11-12-2009 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:30 PM   #2
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

First view of Earth as Rosetta approaches home

12 November 2009




Image of the Earth acquired with the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera from a distance of 633 000 km on 12 November 2009 at 13:28 CET.

The resolution is 12 km/pixel.

The image is a part of a sequence of images taken every hour through one full rotation (24 hours). The movie will be published later.

Three images with an orange, green, and blue filter were combined to create this one. The illuminated crescent is centered roughly around the South Pole (South at the bottom of the image). The outline of Antarctica is visible under the clouds that form the striking south-polar vortex. Pack ice in front of the coastline with its strong spectacular reflection is the cause for the very bright spots on the image.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:31 PM   #3
BROOK
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

wow...what a picture
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:45 PM   #4
Lionhawk
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

New desktop. Thanks Dan!
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:51 PM   #5
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

Rosetta sees a living planet




Illuminated crescent of Earth showing part of South America and Antarctica

13 November 2009
Images and data taken just before closest approach were downloaded this morning, and they show the lights of North America in the night and a glowing Southern Hemisphere.

The image above shows the illuminated crescent of Earth showing part of South America and Antarctica. This OSIRIS image was acquired with the the narrow-angle camera from a distance of 350 000 km at 22:28 UTC last night. The resolution is 6.5 km/pixel.




ESA's Rosetta sees North America at night

The lights of North American cities. Rosetta OSIRIS Imaging System's Narrow-Angle Camera image. The image was taken with a 10-s deep exposure at 05:44 CET. Some of the cities are clearly visible. Others like New York are covered by clouds, making the light diffuse.





Rosetta navigation camera image of Earth

A cloud-covered North America was captured at 14:03 UTC (15:03 CET), when Rosetta was at a distance of approximately 224 000 km from Earth's centre by Rosetta's navigation camera (navcam).

The navcam is used for precise determination of the orbit and optical visualisation. The output of the camera tells you where the centre of the object that is in the centre of the field of view is - it also gives physical parameters of the object.
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

Rosetta is now departing Earth to meet asteroid (21) Lutetia in July 2010. It has gained sufficient orbital energy to achieve its final goal: a rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. The spacecraft is scheduled to enter deep-space hibernation by mid 2011 for the coldest leg of her journey to receive a wake up call only in spring 2014.


Rosetta darting across the night




Rosetta darting across the night

Rosetta: tiny dot in the centre

This still image was taken at 22:58 CET on 12 November. The total exposure time was 2 minutes. The field is located in the constellation of Cetus and has a size of 10 x 10 arcmin. Rosetta appears as a dot in the centre of the image while the stars appear as stripes. The stars move for almost 1 arcminute during the exposure. The brightest star in the bottom left corner of the images has a magnitude of 15.

The dot in the centre is Rosetta
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:58 PM   #7
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

Animation from 11/12 November

This excellent animation was created by stitching together a series of images captured 11/12 November.
The animation covers about 30 minutes and consists of images taken every 3 minutes, with an exposure time of 2 minutes. Rosetta moves roughly from East to West (North is up). The background stars are tracked, therefore Rosetta is seen as a short 'streak' line.


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Old 11-14-2009, 06:34 PM   #8
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost




Rosetta sees a living planet

13 November 2009 Images and data taken just before closest approach were downloaded this morning, and they show the lights of North America in the night and a glowing Southern Hemisphere.

As Rosetta approached Earth, OSIRIS periodically imaged the Earth once every hour for 24 hours. The images from the green optical colour filter have been combined into a movie sequence. The images were taken beginning when Rosetta was 1.1 million km from Earth, until it came 320 000 km close.
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Follow Rosetta’s final Earth boost

Swirling clouds over the South Pacific




Anticyclone over the South Pacific

16 November 2009
Rosetta's OSIRIS imaging system spotted an anticyclone over the South Pacific on the morning of 13 November. The images show the scene roughly as a human eye would see it.

Cloud structures over the South Pacific, seen with the OSIRIS Imaging System’s narrow-angle camera on 13 November at 06:48 CET. The clouds are part of an anticyclone that is visible close to the centre of the image below.

This false-colour composite was generated from the orange, green and blue optical colour filters. It depicts a portion of the scene below with five times the resolution.




Zooming out...

Taken three minutes before the image above, this image is shown in a logarithmic scale to bring out details in the varying light intensity. As a result the scene looks roughly the same as it would appear to the unaided human eye.





In greyscale

The same area in the South Pacific imaged with the orange filter of the narrow-angle camera and depicted in a logarithmic intensity scale.
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