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News Release Archive:

News Release 483 of 953

September 5, 2003 03:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2003-26

Hubble Assists Rosetta Comet Mission

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Image: 3-D Reconstruction of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's Nucleus

3-D Reconstruction of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's NucleusSTScI-PRC2003-26 Artist's Concept

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

Results from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope played a major role in preparing ESA's ambitious Rosetta mission for its new target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G). For the first time in history, Rosetta will land a probe on a comet and study its origin. Hubble precisely measured the size, shape, and rotational period of comet 67P/C-G.

Hubble's observations revealed that comet 67P/C-G is approximately a three-by-two mile, football-shaped object on which it is possible to land. Mission scientists were concerned that the solid nucleus could be nearly 3.6 miles (6 km) across. The higher gravity on a comet that size might make a soft landing more difficult.

This photo shows three views of the 3-D reconstruction of comet 67P/C-G's nucleus: pole (top right), side (bottom left), and end (bottom right).

Object Names: Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Comet 67P/C-G

Image Type: Illustration

Credit: NASA, ESA and Philippe Lamy (Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale)