Rosetta Skimming Past Mars
This stunning view, showing portions of the Rosetta spacecraft with Mars in the background, was taken by the Rosetta Lander Imaging System (CIVA) on board Rosetta's Philae lander just four minutes before the spacecraft reached closest approach to the Red Planet earlier this morning.
While the Rosetta orbiter instruments were switched off as planned during several hours around closest approach, which occurred at 03:15 CET today, some of the lander instruments were operational and collected data from Mars.
This incredible CIVA image was taken about 1000 kilometres from the planet's surface. A portion of the spacecraft and one of its solar arrays are visible in nice detail. Beneath, an area close to the Syrtis region is visible on the planet's disk.