Stunning image from lost spacecraft reveals what it’s like to stand on a comet

The European Space Agency has released a new image of what it's like to actually stand on a comet, courtesy of the Rosetta spacecraft, now lost in space.

The image, which is from 2014, was taken before the Rosetta spacecraft actually landed on the comet, known as Comet 67P. It is a composite of three other images and was created by astronomer Jacint Roger Perez, when the Rosetta spacecraft was 17.5 miles (28.2 kilometers) away from the comet's surface.

"Seen in the centre and left of the frame is Seth, one of the geological regions on the larger of the two comet lobes, which declines towards the smoother Hapi region on the comet’s ‘neck’ that connects the two lobes," the ESA wrote on its website. "The landscape in the background reveals hints of the Babi and Aker regions, both located on the large lobe of 67P/C-G. For a wider image of this region in the overall context of the comet see here."

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The ESA also noted that there is a cliff face near the bottom of the picture, the Aswan cliff, which separates the Seth and Hapi regions on the comet.

"Observations performed by Rosetta not long before the comet’s perihelion, which took place on 13 August 2015, revealed that a chunk of this cliff had collapsed – a consequence of increased activity as the comet drew closer to the Sun along its orbit," the ESA added on its website.

Rosetta made its slow-motion crash into comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Sept. 30, 2016, marking the end of an audacious 12-year mission. Scientists decided to crash-land the probe on the comet because Rosetta's solar panels wouldn't have been able to collect enough energy as it flew away from the Sun along 67P's elliptical orbit.

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Rosetta’s Philae lander made headlines in November 2014 when it became the first probe to land on a comet. But when the lander settled into the shadow of a cliff three days later its solar panels were deprived of sunlight and it entered into "idle mode.” In June 2015, however, the European Space Agency lander began “waking up," intermittently sending data to the Rosetta spacecraft orbiting the comet.

Scientists finally shut down the communication link between Rosetta and Philae in July 2016.

Fox News' James Rogers contributed to this report. Follow Chris Ciaccia on Twitter @Chris_Ciaccia