Space

ESA launches website dedicated to sharing newly-snapped Rosetta images

Image of 67P snapped from Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Dec. 10
Image of 67P snapped from Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Dec. 10
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Image of 67P snapped from Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Dec. 10
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Image of 67P snapped from Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on Dec. 10

The team of scientistsresponsible for operating the OSIRIS instrument aboard ESA's Rosettaspacecraft has launched a dedicated website in order to grant thepublic unprecedented access to images snapped of the comet67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko (67P).

Rosetta has completedthe perihelion section of its mission. As surface activityrecedes, the spacecraft will move ever closer to the comet, providingincreasingly detailed views from its narrow- or wide-angle scientificimaging camera, culminating in the probe's eventual descent to thesurface of 67P slated for September 2016.

Currently, Rosetta isorbiting around the 100-km (62-mile) mark,returning images around the same quality as when the spacecraft firstarrived in orbit around 67P with its Philae payload back in August 2014.

Whilst the new sitewill provide unprecedented access to the celebrity comet, youshouldn't expect the level of in-depth analysis of images that iscommonplace with an ESA press release. Only basic metadata will beprovided with each image, including the position of the proberelative to the Sun and 67P, the date, time, and the resolution atwhich the image was captured.

The OSIRIS team states that images will be released whenever possible, with the frequency ofuploads ranging between one image per day to one per week. The latteris likely to be the case when unavoidable variables come into playsuch as the probe's mission priorities, and the number of images thatcan be transmitted by the spacecraft at that particular time.

Images uploaded to thewebsite would first undergo preliminary selection by the OSIRIS teamprior to being uploaded in JPG format. A batch of images snappedbetween June 20, 2014 and Sept. 16, 2014 are currently in processing,and set to be released early next week.

Source: ESA

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