The 'Big Picture' taken by Kepler provides more insight into the comet 67/P
On September 30, European Space Agency's Rosetta Spacecraft crash landed onto the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, bringing to an end a 12-year long historic mission. During the final month of the probe, NASA’s planet hunting spacecraft Kepler was keeping an eye on the comet and was able to capture some of the most spectacular images of the rocky object.
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Kepler spacecraft took a picture of comet 67/P every 30 minutes from September 7 to September 20 and stitched together an incredible wide angle view.That’s a vantage point that we cannot get from Earth.
It was the Rosetta spacecraft that started to beam back close-up images of the comet 67/P and improved our understanding of this ‘duck shaped’ object from Kuiper Belt. The ‘big picture’ from Kepler complements the several high resolution images of the comet taken by Rosetta over the years before its demise.
As Rosetta headed for #cometlanding, the #K2mission nabbed a wide-angle view of comet 67P#CometLanding @ESA_Rosettahttps://t.co/tbwqTRLlzq pic.twitter.com/3JeIIY1knF— NASA Kepler and K2 (@NASAKepler) October 7, 2016
The view represents a total of 29.5 hours of observations during the two-week period of study. In the view, the comet is seen passing through the Kepler’s field of view while the white dots in the background are the stars lying in the space.
Like other comets, Comet 67/P also travels through space and it shed a tail of gas and dust. The data from Kepler will help scientists to determine the amount of mass lost each day as comet 67P travels through the solar system.