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Tracking a pinpoint of light: Rosetta's first glimpse of asteroid Lutetia (click for details))
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- Title Tracking a pinpoint of light: Rosetta's first glimpse of asteroid Lutetia (click for details))
- Released 07/07/2010 5:23 pm
- Copyright ESA
This first image of asteroid Lutetia was captured on 31 May 2010 by Rosetta's Navigation Camera A (there are two, 'NavCam A' and 'NavCam B') and was processed by the Flight Dynamics team at ESOC, ESA's European Space Operations Centre, in Darmstadt, Germany. The image was acquired at 03:45 UTC (05:45 CEST) and shows Lutetia as a point of reflected sunlight - it's the small dot at the approximate centre of the image (see arrow at centre).
The brightest star that can be seen in the camera's field of view (FOV) is beta Virginis, lying 35.6 light-years from earth in the constellation Virgo (see arrow at right). It shares its name with ESA's Hipparcos mission, launched in 1989, which generated the Hipparcos Catalogue, a high-precision catalogue of more than 100,000 stars.