The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta probe ended its 12-year long mission on September 30, 2016, and now the agency has unveiled one last surprise that the Rosetta left for the scientists.The last image that the probe captured as it barreled toward the surface of Comet 67P has finally been revealed.
The probe had transmitted scientific data and a blurry image of the comet's surface to Earth right before colliding with its surface. According to ESA, Rosetta had one hidden image in store, a closeup image of the comet's surface.
The scientists were able to reconstruct that blurry and grainy image making use of the last set of data, that was sent back to the Earth by the probe. Although the information was interrupted, it was enough to recreate one not-so-detailed look of the probe's touchdown site dubbed Sais, stated the agency.
This last image was originally sent back to Earth in the form of fragments, stated reports.
"The last complete image transmitted from Rosetta was the final one that we saw arriving back on Earth in one piece moments before the touchdown at Sais," said Holger Sierks, principal investigator for the OSIRIS camera at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research. "Later, we found a few telemetry packets on our server and thought, wow, that could be another image," he added.
According to a report by Gizmodo, the last image of 67P was taken from a height of near about 60ft and it hovered around 10 square-foot area of the comet's surface.