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SPECIAL – 2008 Rosetta Steins flyby

September 2008: Rosetta meets asteroid Steins

On 5 September 2008, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft made a historic encounter with asteroid (2867) Steins.
On the 6th of September 2008, the first images from Rosetta’s OSIRIS imaging system and VIRTIS infrared spectrometer were derived from raw data and have delivered spectacular results to the public.
First images and results were available for presentation to the media during a press conference.


VIRTIS results at Steins


Credits: INAF IFSI-IASF – ASI

 

An image of Steins by OSIRIS:

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.


Credits: ESA ©2008