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Europe's Rosetta captures image of asteroid Lutetia

07-12-2010 11:24 BJT

BEIJING, July 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Europe's Rosetta space probe successfully captured for the first time a high-quality picture of asteroid "Lutetia", foreign media reported Sunday.

A picture shot by ESA's Rosetta mission's OSIRIS instrument shows asteroid Lutetia at a distance of 3162 km (1964 miles) its closest approach, July 10, 2010. The images show that Lutetia is heavily cratered, having suffered many impacts during its 4.5 billion years of existence. As Rosetta drew close, a giant bowl-shaped depression stretching across much of the asteroid rotated into view. The images confirm that Lutetia is an elongated body, with its longest side around 130km. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
A picture shot by ESA's Rosetta mission's OSIRIS instrument shows 
asteroid Lutetia at a distance of 3162 km (1964 miles) its closest 
approach, July 10, 2010. The images show that Lutetia is heavily 
cratered, having suffered many impacts during its 4.5 billion years 
of existence. As Rosetta drew close, a giant bowl-shaped depression 
stretching across much of the asteroid rotated into view. The images 
confirm that Lutetia is an elongated body, with its longest side 
around 130km. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Lutetia is the largest asteroid to be ever visited by a satellite. It is more than 280 million miles from earth, and sits between Mars and Jupiter.

The images by Rosetta show Lutetia to be heavily cratered from many impacts during its 4.5 billion years of existence.

As Rosetta drew close, a giant bowl-shaped depression stretching across much of the asteroid rotated into view. The images confirm that Lutetia is an elongated body, with its longest side around130km.

The new images and data will help scientists give a definite classification for Lutetia.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: Xinhua

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