Latest pictures from Rosetta
In a foretaste of the images to come, the European Space Agency's Rosetta, the first spacecraft to rendezvous with a comet has sent back these images – a closer view of a comet than we have ever seen before.
Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and Rosetta are 405 million kilometres from Earth, about half way between the orbits of Jupiter and Mars, rushing towards the inner Solar System at nearly 55 000 kph.
The comet is in an elliptical 6.5-year orbit that takes it from beyond Jupiter at its furthest point, to between the orbits of Mars and Earth at its closest to the Sun. Rosetta will accompany it for over a year as they swing around the Sun and back out towards Jupiter again.