Image: Anticyclone over the South Pacific

Nov 12, 2013
Credit: ESA, MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/RSSD/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

During its third and final flyby of Earth on 13 November 2009, Rosetta imaged this anticyclone over the South Pacific.

The image was taken by Rosetta's camera at 05:48 GMT and this false-colour composite was generated from the orange, green and blue filters.

The closet approach was at exactly 07:45:40 GMT, as Rosetta passed just south of the Indonesian island of Java, at an altitude of 2481 km.

Rosetta previously visited Earth in March 2005 and November 2007, and Mars in February 2007. Each planetary flyby gave Rosetta a gravity 'kick' to place it on the correct trajectory to reach comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in May 2014.

Rosetta will make the most detailed study of a comet ever attempted. It will release its Philae lander to analyse the surface, and will escort the comet on its journey through the inner Solar System, measuring the increase in activity as the icy surface is warmed up by the Sun.

Explore further: Asteroid Steins in 3-D

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