Rosetta at 21 Lutetia

The Rosetta spacecraft has returned the first images from its flyby of the asteroid 21 Lutetia. The image on the right was taken while the spacecraft was approximately 80,000 kilometers away and it shows a lumpy, cratered world. Lutetia is approximately 100 km in diameter. It is the largest asteroid yet visited by a spacecraft. More images can seen on the Rosetta Blog, and more images will be released later today.

Rosetta is an ESA mission on its way to orbit and deploy a lander on a comet in 2014. The spacecraft took images of another asteroid – 2867 Šteins – in 2008.

Richard Leis

Richard Leis

Richard Leis (he/him/his) lives in Tucson, Arizona where he writes poetry and fiction, attends and teaches writing workshops at the Writers Studio Tucson, and works for HiRISE, a team in the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona with a camera in orbit around Mars onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

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