What Would Comet 67P Look Like Over London?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 39 months ago
What Would Comet 67P Look Like Over London?

Comparing Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko with the city of London. Image: Comet: ESA/Rosetta/Navcam; Map data: Google, Bluesky

Most people with even a passing interest in space travel have been getting very excited by the news of the first landing on a comet. The robot Philae has been travelling on the craft Rosetta through deep space for the past 10 years, covering 6.4 billion kilometres — and finally parking up on the comet known as 67P.

With all manner of astronomical data flying about, we wanted to put things into London-sized perspective. Fortunately, we've found the rather excellent image, above, courtesy of the European Space Agency, which shows 67P whizzing over the city, and casting an Armageddon-like shadow over the centre (don't panic, it's not really this close).

As you can see, the length of the comet is 4,100 metres — a distance equivalent to a stroll from Big Ben to the Tower of London. Well, strolling in a very direct line, in which you'd have to swim through the Thames twice.

Last Updated 13 November 2014