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Space probe passes asteroid Lutetia

The European Space Agency’s (ESA) comet-chasing probe Rosetta has captured the first close-up images of the asteroid Lutetia (ESA, BBC). “It’s a new world discovered by Rosetta and it will keep scientists busy for years,” said Holger Sierks, the principal investigator on the Osiris camera system (BBC). At 18:10 CEST on 10 July, the probe—equipped with cameras, spectrometers, magnetic-field experiments and more—passed within 3162 km of Lutetia. The flyby itself was very brief—lasting only about a minute—as Rosetta swept past the asteroid at a speed of 15 km/s. The 400 images that were attained during the fly-by are now being 

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