Images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko taken on July 14, 2014, by the OSIRIS imaging system aboard the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft have allowed scientists to create this three-dimensional shape model of the nucleus. The full rotation of the nucleus around its spin axis, shown here, emphasizes the bi-lobate structure already observed with the camera.
Rosetta is a European Space Agency mission with contributions from its member states and NASA. Rosetta's Philae lander is provided by a consortium led by the German Aerospace Center, Cologne; Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Gottingen; French National Space Agency, Paris; and the Italian Space Agency, Rome. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the U.S. participation in the Rosetta mission for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Rosetta carries three NASA instruments in its 21-instrument payload.
OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Gottigen, Germany, in collaboration with the Center for Studies and Activities in Space, University of Padova, Italy; the Astrophysics Laboratory, Marseille, France; the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalucia, Spain; the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency, The Netherlands; the National Institute for Aerospace Technology, Torrejon de Ardoz, Spain; the Technical University of Madrid, Spain; the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, Sweden; and the Institute of Computer and Network Engineering of the Technical University, Braunschweig, Germany. OSIRIS was financially supported by the national funding agencies of the German Space Agency, Cologne, Germany; National Centre for Space Studies, Paris, France; Italian Space Agency, Rome; Ministry of Education and Science, Madrid, Spain; the Swedish National Space Board, Solna, Sweden; and the European Space Agency Technical Directorate, Paris, France.
For more information on the U.S. instruments aboard Rosetta, visit http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov.
Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team/MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA