Live stream of Rosetta's July 10 asteroid flyby

By Phil Plait | July 9, 2010 12:30 pm

At 15:45 UTC tomorrow, July 10, the European Space Agency probe Rosetta will fly to within 3200 km (2000 miles) of the asteroid 21 Lutetia. This close pass will reveal, for the first time, the shape and details of this roughly 100-km-diameter rock.

You can watch this event live as it happens; ESA is streaming the event. Around 01:00 UTC they’ll start presenting the images, too. Below is an embedded feed that will go live once the actual stream starts.

I’m very excited about this! This is all happening during TAM 8, but I’ll try to watch it live if I can too.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff
MORE ABOUT: ESA, Lutetia, Rosetta

Comments (37)

  1. Mark Hall

    I predict that it’ll turn out to be a derelict alien spacecraft.

    Yeah, I read too much science fiction.

  2. Phil: Great post! One note: The live webcast from ESA starts at 18:00 CEST = 16:00 UTC = 12:00 EST = 09:00 PST. Thanks for following Rosetta! — Daniel

  3. nate

    @Mark Hall – haven’t you seen Event Horizon? Derelict? The ship will be alive!

  4. Kevin F.

    Sure would be nice, though…

  5. Andrew

    Hey what time is that in real time, say East Coast??

  6. Time conversions from UTC can be found, e.g. here or here.

    So I believe that means 15:45 UTC = 11:45 EDT for folks on the east coast.

  7. Messier Tidy Upper

    But July 10th is today ..Yesterday was my brother’s birthday – July 9th. Ah yes, slow old American time(zone) Vs us Aussies who are a day ahead of y’all! 😉

    Sounds great! I’ll be watching if I’m not out at work at the time. I’m looking forward to this. Seeing new planets for the very first time even minor ones a.k.a. asteroids is always a buzz! :-)

    @ 1. Mark Hall Says:

    I predict that it’ll turn out to be a derelict alien spacecraft. Yeah, I read too much science fiction.

    Too much Science fiction? No such thing! I can never read enough SF. 😀

  8. I predict that it’ll turn out to be a derelict alien spacecraft.

    Yeah, I read too much science fiction.

  9. stan9fos

    Thanks, Paul!

  10. Wish they would at least play a different loop each time.

  11. RAF

    So this is happening about 2 hours from “now”??

  12. MaDeR

    “I predict that it’ll turn out to be a derelict alien spacecraft.”
    Spectra would show it long ago…

  13. Paul in Sweden

    I just checked the link and the loop that is playing right now is telling me that the next live webcast begins1800 CEST today.

    That would be for you people west of me:

    5pm London
    12pm NYC
    11am Chicago
    9am Los Angeles

  14. BigBadSis

    As the Sears repairman was vacuuming out the dog hair from my refrigerator vent, I was telling him about how exciting I thought it was that this morning we are going to be able to watch, LIVE, a European Space Agency probe travel past a comet in space! Right here on my computer, in my kitchen! With an unimpressed tone, he said “Yeah. I hope we can do something about that oil spill in the Gulf, though.” Aaaaaarrrrrgg!!!

  15. Whomever1

    I assume you mean that the signal from Rosetta passing Lutetia will reach us at 15:45. Do we know how long the signal takes to reach earth?

  16. Rory Kent

    #11 Paul in Sweden


  17. gribley

    Paul in Sweden, I think you’re an hour early. CEST is UTC+2, BST/WEST is UTC+1, and EDT in the USA is UTC-4. So 18:00 CEST is 5pm London, 1pm New York.

    Now that I look at the ESA page, though, it looks like the live feed will be from the control room, and “Presentation of first images” starts at 23:00 CEST.

    Drat — I was hoping for a live video stream from the spacecraft!

  18. Paul

    I think they said signal will reach us in 40 mins.

    So that will be 1845 CEST.

    So the answer to the above question is 40 mins. It takes 40 mins for the transmission to begin to reach us.

  19. Paul in Sweden

    So that will be 1240pm or so New York City time.

    Right now they have the live interview.

  20. Paul in Sweden

    The European Space Agency just said the first images will not be ready until 21.00 CEST so that will be 3 am Saturday night.

  21. AC

    ‘Click here to download plugin’? Not a very entertaining video.

  22. Allen

    Well then, I’m probably going to miss the first images later at night. Today’s my 21st birthday, so I probably won’t even remember that time.

  23. Magnum

    Happy Birthday Allen 😉

    Did anyone else get a really choppy stream? I wouldn’t expect there to be bandwidth problems since they outsourced the streaming to I’m watching from .au.

  24. Magnum

    Just over an hour to go until the pics are released, am I right?

  25. Fitzsy

    The first images are already out on the Rosetta Blog:

  26. Paul in Sweden

    I was out of the house when I relayed my last message. The first imagaes possibly came at 2100 CEST but that was at 3pm New York City time.

    There are some really crisp still images but some animations are sure to come.

    This is really cool.

    Thanks for the heads up Phil. :)

  27. Tom Huffman

    Thanks for the link, Phil. I’ll pass this on!

  28. Dave C

    Thanks Phil,
    would not have seen this coming if it weren’t for BA;
    terrific presentations, and SCIENCE!!! look forward to the discoveries that come out of this flyby; for an “extra” add on to a fantastic mission, this again proves the value of Robotic Exploration;

  29. Dave C

    hmmmm one click and duplication; my appologies; a delete button would be handy LOL

  30. BigBob

    Some parts of the surface feature grooves, like those on Phobos!!!

  31. Benjamin Franz

    The person managing the camera shots for the stream should have been shot. I was watching the post-encounter replay and one of the scientists was clearly looking to the side to a large screen and describing stuff and for like a full minute they just kept focused on the panel of scientists rather than the pictures he was describing.

    “And here we are at minus 8 minutes….”

    Made me want to reach through the screen and strangle someone.

    But very cool otherwise.

  32. Lukas

    #31: completely agree!

    yes it’s amazing and all, but don’t promise things and then don’t show!

  33. ricko

    OK all jokes aside. Look at the story post, it SAYS that the probe lost contact with earth for forty minutes but after some manuvering they got it back online to earth. How do you manuver something with no contact??
    I don’t believe anything about space programs…. period..

  34. Audun

    This picture taken by Rosetta is just incredible cool:

  35. #35. ricko, ever heard of pre-programmed sequences? the behaviour of the spacecraft plus the physics of space is pretty well know so that something like that can be programmed into the navigational computer without much effort.
    Then, as the time approaches, the probe ‘follows’ the asteroid visually, adjusting its attitude in the process, thus bringing the antenna out of alignment and thus losing contact with Earth, until the flyby is complete and the craft is being readjusted.


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