Asteroid Steins
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Asteroid Steins

September 10, 2008

The first images from Rosetta's OSIRIS imaging system and VIRTIS infrared spectrometer were derived on the morning of September 6, 2008 and have delivered spectacular results.

This image shows Asteroid Steins seen from a distance of 800 km, taken by the OSIRIS imaging system from two different perspectives. The effective diameter of the asteroid is 5 km, approximately as predicted. At the top of the asteroid (as shown in this image), a large crater, approximately 1.5-km in size, can be seen. Scientists were amazed that the asteroid survived the impact that was responsible for the crater.

From the images, scientists will try and understand why the asteroid is unusually bright, and how fine grains of the surface regolith are. This will tell them more about how the asteroid formed.

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