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Rosetta space probe photographs largest asteroid

Rosetta space probe photographs largest asteroid
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Scientists have received pictures of the biggest asteroid ever visited by a space probe. The huge rock, called Lutetia, is about 455 million kilometres away from Earth – further away than Mars.

Those studying the images are excited by what they see. Lutetia is very old and has more irregularities than expected. It also has an extremely large crater measuring about 70 kilometres.

The pictures are a victory for the European Space Agency, who ran the exploration using a probe called Rosetta. They say what they have seen will keep them busy for years.

But the mission is not over yet. Rosetta is now heading out to meet with the Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, due to happen in May 2014. For now, the team will spend time studying the 400 images captured of Lutetia.

see our Space magazine on Rosetta