ESO/C. Snodgrass (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Germany)
Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko on October 5, 2013
The Very Large Telescope took this photo of Rosetta's target comet about 6 weeks before the comet passed into solar conjunction. It was 5.3 AU from Earth at the time, and also about 5 AU from the Sun, just inside the orbit of Jupiter. At the time, it was not showing any cometary activity. The right-hand image is a stack of all the observations aligned on the stars, with a streak drawn on it to denote the comet's moving position. The left-hand image is the same set of observations aligned on the comet, with background stars subtracted.