Rosetta's comet landing captured in 3D

A 3D image generated from data collected by Rosetta Lander Imaging System (ROLIS) aboard the European Space Agency`s Philae lander has been released.

Rosetta's comet landing captured in 3D

London: Get your red-blue glasses ready as Rosetta Lander Imaging System (ROLIS) aboard the European Space Agency`s Philae lander has captured an incredible 3D image. 

As Philae approached Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014, the lander's downward-looking camera ROLIS took images of the descent. In the top right of the field of view, one of the landing gear feet can be seen. 

The stereographic image was generated using two images acquired by ROLIS when Philae was a little less than three km from the comet`s surface.

At the time Philae made its first touchdown on the comet, a short but significant "thud" was heard by Philae`s Cometary Acoustic Surface Sounding Experiment (CASSE).

"The Philae lander came into contact with a soft layer several centimetres thick. Then, just milliseconds later, the feet encountered a hard, perhaps icy layer on the comet," said Klaus Seidensticker, lead scientist for the CASSE instrument from the German Aerospace Center`s Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin.

Rosetta is the first spacecraft to witness at close proximity how a comet changes as it is subjected to the increasing intensity of the Sun`s radiation.Observations will help scientists learn more about the origin and evolution of our solar system and the role comets may have played in seeding the Earth with water and even life.

(With Agency inputs)

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