Scientists have pieced together a composite photo of the surface of a comet as a spacecraft was landing on it.
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The mosaic photo, released by the European Space Agency this morning, was taken by a camera on the Rosetta spacecraft over the course of the 30 minutes surrounding the first touchdown of its lander, Philae, on the comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, on Nov. 12.
Because the ESA compiled information that spanned a period of time, analysts were able to track the trajectory of the Philae lander as it was going in for touchdown. As it was descending, according to the ESA, Philae was moving slightly east at roughly 0.5 miles per second.
The lander touched down and bounced, and analysts aren't able to determine exactly where it ended up -- but they do know that there were seven minutes between the moment it first touched down and bounced, and the moment it settled at its final location.
More information from the Philae is expected to be released later today. The data was gathered by the spacecraft before it was forced to go into "idle" mode to save its dwindling power.