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Moonrise above the Pacific


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During the spacecraft's Earth-skimming fly-by on March 4 (reported earlier by Hypography), Rosetta's Navigation Cameras captured images looking down and ahead.


lefthttp://www.hypography.com/gallery/files/5/CAM1_050304_ESB_30_22_06_H_thumb.jpg[/img]While cloud formations, coastlines and continents are clearly visible, the best photo shows the Moon rising above the Pacific, taken as the craft headed away from our home planet and out into space.


These images were recorded before and after closest approach around 22:00 UTC. During this time, the spacecraft maintained a constant orientation (Moon-facing) so that earlier views are looking almost directly down, at the east coast of the USA, while later views — and the impressive Moon-rise image — were taken looking ahead over the Pacific. The closest approach came at 22:09 UTC at an altitude of 1954.74 km when Rosetta was over the Pacific, west of Mexico.


All pictures were recorded at 1024 x 1024 pixels and cover a field of view (FoV) of 5 degrees x 5 degrees.


The first image (above) shows the Moon rising above the Pacific at 22:06 UTC, just three minutes before the point of closest approach.


The remaining images can be seen at the European Space Agency website at this link:



Source: European Space Agency

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