Feeds

Rosetta warms up for comet with Martian flyby

More gorgeous snaps

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta has sent back pictures of its closest approach to Mars after it completed its flyby of the planet this weekend. The stunning pictures are the first taken by the Philae lander's instruments operating independently of the main craft.

Rosetta on its Mars flyby

This shot was taken just four minutes before the craft reached its closest approach, at a distance of about 1,000km from the surface.

The flyby has been an important test run for some of the technology Rosetta is carrying to Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The craft is scheduled to arrive at the comet in 2014 when, all going well, the Philae lander will live up to the second part of its name and land on the comet.

The camera was not the only system given a test run. Mission managers also switched on the lander's ROMAP instrument, to collect data about the magnetic environment of Mars.

On board Rosetta, the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) was also put to good use observing the planet. Its narrow angle camera in particular has sent back unusual pictures of atmospheric structures, thought to be either clouds or dust, on the red planet.

You can see more of those images on the European Space Agency's website here. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?
How surgery might be making cancer prognoses worse
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
Brit balloon bod Bodnar overflies North Pole
B-64 amateur ultralight payload approaching second circumnavigation
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
Boffins build CYBORG-MOTHRA but not for evil: For search & rescue
This tiny bio-bot will chew through your clothes then save your life
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?