Borrelly's Rugged Surface
Date: 22 Sep 2001
In this highest resolution view of the icy, rocky nucleus of comet Borrelly, (about 45 m or 150 feet per pixel) a variety of terrains and surface textures, mountains and fault structures, as well as darkened material are visible over the nucleus's surface. This was the final image of the nucleus of comet Borrelly, taken just 160 seconds before Deep Space 1's closest approach to it. This image shows the 8-km (5-mile) long nucleus about 3417 km (over 2,000 miles) away.
Smooth, rolling plains containing brighter regions are present in the middle of the nucleus and seem to be the source of dust jets seen in the coma. The rugged land found at both ends of the nucleus has many high ridges along the jagged line between day and night on the comet. This rough terrain contains very dark patches that appear to be elevated compared to surrounding areas. In some places the dark material accentuates grooves and apparent faults. Stereo analysis shows the smaller end of the nucleus (lower right) is tipped toward the viewer (out of frame). Sunlight is coming from the bottom of the frame.
Credit: NASA Planetary Photojournal