Here is a Rosetta ‘selfie’ with Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in background. It was taken by the CIVA camera – short for Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser – onboard the Philae lander. This is the same lander that set down on the comet with a thud in 2014. A bounce sent it tumbling to places unknown on the comet’s surface, and, although it did return 57 hours of data, it then went silent. The lander was found again just a few weeks ago, by the way, wedged into a shadowy crack on 67P.
But the orbiter has been functioning, learning about this comet up-close, all this time. And, this week, the wonderful Rosetta mission comes to and end with a dramatic controlled impact on the comet’s surface. Learn how to follow this week’s activities here.
Rosetta isn’t the first or last otherworldly object to get in on the earthly trend of selfies. Here’s one from the Mars Curiosity rover in 2014, too. By the way, people often ask how Curiosity can take its own self-portrait. More about that process here.
Andrew R. Brown, an avid follower of the space program, writes frequently about space topics for EarthSky. Over several years, he has also suggested observations that were carried out by imaging teams of some space missions. He has lives in Ashford, Kent, United Kingdom and works for local government, Kent County Council.