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The Big Picture: Philae lander snaps a selfie as it passes by comet

Billy Steele
10.14.14
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The European Space Agency's (ESA) Philae lander has a knack for taking selfies. Last month, it passed by Comet 67P/C-G at a distance of 50 km (31 miles) attached to the ESA's Rosetta spacecraft. This time around, Philae got even closer before snapping the picture -- coming within 16 km (10 miles). In the image above, you'll notice one of Philae's 14-meter (46-foot) long solar arrays in a snapshot that combines two images with different exposures for a proper visual. An on-board CIVA (Comet Infrared and Visible Analyser) employs a collection of micro-cameras to capture panoramas used to study the surface. The Philae lander is set to depart Rosetta next month to get an even closer look when it'll land on the comet's surface for further research.

[Photo credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA]

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