Space & Astronomy
Color photograph of comet 67P released
By T.K. Randall
December 15, 2014 · 7 comments
Color photograph of comet 67P taken by the Rosetta spacecraft. Image Credit: ESA
For the first time Rosetta's new home can be viewed in full color, even though there isn't much of it.
Recent Internet rumors had opened up the possibility that comet 67P, the destination of ESA's Rosetta spacecraft and its companion lander Philae, might have exhibited a distinctly reddish hue.
Now however the release of the first ever color photograph of the comet has revealed that it has very little color to it at all and that it doesn't even look much different to the existing black and white photographs taken by Rosetta over the last few months.
"As anticipated, the comet turns out to be very grey indeed, with only slight, subtle colour variations seen across its surface," the European Space Agency wrote on its website.
The rumors about the comet's reddish hue however may have had at least some merit.
"A more-detailed first analysis nevertheless reveals that the comet reflects red light slightly more efficiently than other wavelengths," ESA wrote. "This is a well-known phenomenon observed at many other small bodies in the Solar System and is due to the small size of the surface grains."
"That does not, however, mean that the comet would look red to the human eye."
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