Space

A stunning new video shows a comet’s surface as it hurtles through space


In August 2014, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft pulled up to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and studied the gritty, duck-shaped object for 2 years.

Today the ESA continues to publish new images taken by the probe, and in March it released a fresh batch of data.

 

Many of Rosetta’s photos were taken in sequence – so Twitter user “landru79” stacked and stitched the pictures into a stunning new timelapse movie, posted Monday.

“Amazing scene from #comet #67P,” the ESA tweeted about landru79’s work.

The video clip (below) shows roughly 25 minutes of flight past Comet 67P on June 1, 2016. The scene looks like something out of a science-fiction film:

In the background, a field of stars moves behind Comet 67P as it tumbles through space.

Rosetta took the photos just a few months after the roughly 2.5-mile-long comet shot out a burst of material. So in the foreground, sunlit specks of ice and dust float near a cliff that stands thousands of feet tall.

Cosmic rays also hit Rosetta’s camera sensor, causing white streaks in the series of black-and-white images.

In addition to photographing Comet 67P, Rosetta also set down a probe called Philae on the comet’s surface – though the lander rolled into a shady crevice and was never heard from again.

On September 30, 2016, the ESA purposefully crashed Rosetta into the wad of ice, rock, and dust. The robot took a final and fateful sequence of images along the way.

This article was originally published by Business Insider.

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