When the scientists behind the European Space Agency's $1.6 billion Rosetta mission to a comet came out with scores of pages' worth of studies on Thursday, they released something else that made just as big of an impression: a set of pictures showing Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's surface in detail.
The images reveal boulders and sharp mountains, features that look like sand dunes, cracks and pits where dust and gas are leaking out into space, and a place where some sort of subsurface blast may have blown a piece of the comet a short distance away. For the full set, check out ESA's Rosetta slideshow. Here are a few highlights.
- Rosetta's Comet: Dark and Dry Outside, Light and Fluffy Inside
- Comet Study Suggests Earth's Water Came From ... Asteroids?
- Gallery: More Photos From Rosetta's Comet Mission