BERLIN (AP) — The European Space Agency says scientists have pieced together a final image of a comet’s surface taken by its Rosetta probe just before its mission ended in a slow-motion crash a year ago.
ESA guided Rosetta to the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sept. 30 last year, ending its 12-year mission. Rosetta had previously sent a separate lander to the surface and collected vast amounts of data.
The agency said Thursday that scientists have worked with the very last data Rosetta sent to piece together a final image of the touchdown site, showing details of the rocky surface.
Scientists decided to crash-land the probe on the comet because Rosetta’s solar panels wouldn’t have been able to collect enough energy as it flew away from the sun along 67P’s elliptical orbit.