The Rosetta spacecraft captures fellow Kuiper Belt Comet Pluto just before New Horizons flyby in background of images of Comet 67P · 0
- After careful image processing dwarf planet Pluto shows itself in these images obtained by Rosetta’s scientific imaging system OSIRIS on 12 July 2015.
- Over five billion kilometres away, an exposure time of more than three hours, and sophisticated image processing, was necessary to detect Pluto in the images. Twenty images, each exposed for ten minutes, had to be stacked and carefully processed to reveal the tiny world. Pluto is thus the most distant body within the Solar System that Rosetta has ever looked at.
- "Apart from the huge distance there was another difficulty," says OSIRIS team member Dennis Bodewits from the University of Maryland who worked on the images. “Comet 67P and Rosetta are by now surrounded by a dense atmosphere of gas and dust. It’s like watching Pluto through a blizzard.”