Some of the first released high-resolution images of 21 Lutetia taken by Rosetta (images: ESA)
The Rosetta close encounter with asteroid 21 Lutetia early yesterday evening was certainly a big success. The first images are very impressive and there is a lot more data to follow in the coming weeks. Based on the initial images, it has been suggested that Lutetia looks more like a primitive C-class asteroid, than a metal-rich M-class. But it’s early days. So far media coverage has also been very good. The reports by Jonathon Amos on the BBC News Channel last night were excellent and his on-line article is also nicely informative. I got a bit worried this morning when the Radio 2 news stated that pictures of Lutetia would help scientists to understand the origin of the Universe. Happily, this was changed to origin of the Solar System later in the day. Phew, there must have been a few worried cosmologists out there for a bit.