21 Lutetia flyby completed, first images from 80,000 km released

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Check out the first real images of the asteroid 21 Lutetia:

That's from 80,000 km away whereas closest approach was just a bit over 3,000 km. Compare this to the previous asteroid Rosetta passed called 2867 Šteins, which was a closer approach (800 km) and yet much tinier, giving images with no better resolution than this:

The science data downlink will begin in about 45 minutes, and the images from that (the best ones) will be presented in a bit under four hours. That's 6:00 am here in Korea so I'll be up early to take a look at them.

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