Rosetta fly-by of Steins: Orbit animation
A cool animation illustrating Rosetta's approach and encounter with asteroid Steins on 5 September 2008. The spacecraft will pass by Steins at a distance of 800 km and a relative speed of 8.6 km/s.
Data from the NASA/JPL solar simulator and the JPL Horizons system were used to generate this animation illustrating the orbit of Rosetta (green line) and asteroid Steins (orange line).
It starts shortly after the last Earth gravity assist (in November 2007) and continues through the Steins fly-by to just before the next Earth gravity assist manoeuvre (November 2009).
Closest approach will occur at 20:58 CEST.
The animation indicates closest approach at 18:37 UTC. Since the animation was produced, this estimate has been refined and is now forecast for 18:38 UTC, spacecraft event time, which is 20:38 CEST.
With a one-way time of signal travel of 20 minutes, an observer on the ground in central Europe will therefore "see" the moment of closest approach as 20:58 CEST.