Rosetta Probe Snaps Selfie With Comet Before Historic Landing

Image: Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko
A photo taken on Oct. 7. 2014 with the CIVA camera on Rosetta's Philae lander shows comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko from a distance of about 10 miles.ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA via AFP - Getty Images

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An unmanned probe that will next month attempt to become the first spacecraft to land on a comet has sent back a photo of its intended target.

The image captures the side of the Rosetta spacecraft and one of its 46-foot-long solar wings, with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko visible in the background at a distance of ten miles. Two photos with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details, the European Space Agency explained. The comet's active neck region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface.

The agency announced last month that Rosetta will release its 220-pound Philae lander on Nov. 12, having identified a suitable landing site on the 2.5-mile wide comet.


— Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press contributed to this report