Last Chance for Rosetta Observations

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (
Date: Wed Nov 11 2009 - 18:24:19 UTC

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    On 13-NOV-09 at 7:45:40 UTC the Rosetta spacecraft will pass just south of the 
    Indonesian island of Java at an altitude of 2481 km during it's third and 
    final Earth gravity assist maneuver.
    The best chances to observe it would be during the night from the 12th to the 
    13th of November where ever in the world you are. On its outgoing orbit it 
    will have a poor phase angle and will be much more difficult to see. Rosetta 
    will come in very fast covering the Earth-Moon distance in about 10 hours. 
    Observers in America should be best placed for this. But you need the 
    necessary equipment to spot something very weak.
    For a detailed accound of what to expect see
    Orbit elements are available directly from ESA at
    An accurate ephemeris is also available at
    After this flyby Rosetta will head out slighty beyond the orbit of Jupiter 
    (the first spacecraft to do so with only solar power) and in 2014 rendezvous 
    with a comet.
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
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