A stunning new video shows what it's like to fly past a comet tumbling through space
- A comet known as Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko was visited by the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft for two years.
- The agency released a new batch of photos of the comet in March.
- A fan of the spacecraft animated some of those images into a stunning new timelapse video of Rosetta's view as it flew past the comet.
- The movie shows dust flying around Comet 67P as it tumbles against a field of stars.
In August 2014, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft pulled up to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko and studied the gritty, duck-shaped object for 2 years.
The ESA continues to publish new images taken by the probe, and in March it released a fresh batch of data.
Many of Rosetta's photos were taken in sequence — so Twitter user "landru79" stacked and stitched the pictures into a stunning new timelapse movie, posted Monday.
"Amazing scene from #comet #67P," the ESA tweeted about landru79's work.
The video clip (below) shows roughly 25 minutes of flight past Comet 67P on June 1, 2016. The scene looks like something out of a science-fiction film:
In the background, a field of stars moves behind Comet 67P as it tumbles through space.
Rosetta took the photos just a few months after the roughly 2.5-mile-long comet shot out a burst of material. So in the foreground, sunlit specks of ice and dust float near a cliff that stands thousands of feet tall.
Cosmic rays also hit Rosetta's camera sensor, causing white streaks in the series of black-and-white images.
In addition to photographing Comet 67P, Rosetta also set down a probe called Philae on the comet's surface — though the lander rolled into a shady crevice and was never heard from again.
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