Rosetta’s Date With Lutetia

Yesterday was an exciting day for many of us space geeks. The European Space Agency probe Rosetta flew about 1800 miles above the asteroid Lutetia. One image happened to catch the planet Saturn in the far distance, above.

I like these detailed images of the asteroid surface. Grooved terrain, like the moons of Mars. But this sidus is much, much larger. In fact, all the other asteroids explored to date would be grossly out-massed by Lutetia, the 21st to be discovered. Some Earth comparisons: almost the size of Connecticut, about half the size of Belgium. Scientists are saying Lutetia is old–reddened by radiation-exposed carbon compunds, and the usual cratered surface.

Check the ESA link in the first paragraph for more images, plus the hi-res close-ups.


About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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