What Would Comet 67P Look Like Over London?

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 115 months ago

Last Updated 13 November 2014

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.