The First True Colour Image of Comet 67P Taken by the Rosetta Spacecraft

By Jesus Diaz on at

The Philae lander may have had a bouncy, rocky start to its mission to land on the huge 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, but while we still await the lander to revive from its hard fall, the nearby orbiting mothership Rosetta has been snapping away at the huge rock as it floats through the nothingness.

Until now, all photos of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have been in greyscale. According to a research paper that will be presented at the American Geophysical Union's 2014 meeting, you are looking at its first true colour photo, taken with Rosetta's OSIRIS camera.

The reason the image is blurred is because the comet moved between exposures, as a Reddit user showed by separating the RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) channels in the composite colour image and making this animated GIF:

The first true color image of comet 67P taken by the Rosetta spacecraft

Here's the same photo sharpened and colour-corrected, made by another Redditor:

The first true color image of comet 67P taken by the Rosetta spacecraft

For reference, this is a colour photo of Mars taken by Rosetta's OSIRIS camera using the same multiple exposure technique:

The first true color image of comet 67P taken by the Rosetta spacecraft

[Sploid]