The ESA's Space Probe Rosetta Nabbed This Selfie With The Comet She's Preparing To Land On

Space station astronauts, this is how you selfie.

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta craft has a lander on the back of it called Philae. On September 7, Philae took this shot:

Picture: European Space Agency

Photobombed by a comet.

That’s one of Rosetta’s 14m solar arrays in the foreground, and looming at the back is the double-lobed Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, estimated to be about 50km away.

The shot was taken by a couple of the seven cameras attached to Philae’s Comet nucleus Infrared and Visible Analyzer (CIVA), as Rosetta begins her orbit around Comet 67P.

In November, Philae will release from Rosetta and fire two harpoons into 67P’s surface, then secure herself and start taking more pics and samples. It’s taken Rosetta 10-and-a-half years to get this far, so tensions are rising with excitement at ESA right now.

Among several of her tasks, the ESA hopes the lander will find and return samples containing complex organic compounds, a key component of the theory that comets may have seeded Earth for life as we know it.

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