Having fulfilled its primary function of delivering probe Philae to the surface of the comet 67P, the Rosetta spacecraft is now on a mission of its own.
It is currently orbiting around the comet taking photos with its Navcam camera. The image below is a panorama of four images taken 42 kilometres from the surface of 67P, showing the strange rubber duck-shaped body in stunning detail.
Rosetta’s new role is to continue photographing the comet to provide data on the coma, the stream of particles left by the speeding rock, which will be analysed back on Earth. This will provide crucial information as to the make up of a fragment of the earliest days of the universe’s existence.
Next year it will also try and pick up signals from Philae as the trio get closer to the Sun and Philae’s instruments, hopefully, pick up enough solar energy to start working again.
Discover more about the incredible Rosetta mission here and, if that’s not enough space for you, then why not subscribe to How It Works where you can learn about the wonders of space every month. The latest issue takes you on a tour of the universe!