An 128km Long, 4.5 Billion Year Old Asteroid Gets Its Close Up

This is an up close picture of Lutetia, an asteroid that hangs out somewhere between Mars and Jupiter. It's the largest asteroid ever visited by a satellite.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta mission came within 3,200km of the asteroid and was able to capture images of Lutetia by using an OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System) camera. The closest images got down to less than 61 metres in resolution. It's amazing how peaceful the asteroid looks, lumpy craters and all. Then you remember things like this can destroy planets.

Rosetta actually has bigger plans than the Lutetia, with its end destination being the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. We can't wait to see those pictures. [Wired]

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