Gigglebit: Rosetta mission selfie from the ESA is the coolest ever

16 Oct 2014

The Rosetta mission selfie, with the comet its Philae lander is to reach on 12 November in the background. Image via ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note.

Like any sector, technology has a serious side, and it is often issues within this serious side that make headlines or that organisations need to explore for their business. Malware! Data breaches! Cloud storage! Do I really need this software? What candidate has the best IT skills for this job, and what the heck is fog computing?

With Gigglebit, we turn the spotlight on humorous and/or amazing content about science and tech, because sometimes the lighter side should be taken seriously, too.

Today, we present an image released by the European Space Agency (ESA).

On 7 October, the CIVA camera on the Rosetta orbiter’s Philae lander snapped a ‘selfie’ of the side of the Rosetta spacecraft and one of Rosetta’s 14 metre-long solar wings, with comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko about 16 kilometres away in the background.

“Two images with different exposure times were combined to bring out the faint details in this very high contrast situation,” the ESA said. “The comet’s active ‘neck’ region is clearly visible, with streams of dust and gas extending away from the surface.”

On 12 November, Rosetta is set to release Philae at 8.35am UTC to land on the comet’s surface about seven hours later. The resulting data will help scientists learn more about the origin and evolution of our solar system and the role comets may have played in seeding Earth with water, and perhaps even life.

Here is the Rosetta mission ‘selfie’ in its entirety:

Image via ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic