Last night, Rosetta made the first of three burns to settle into orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. But, just how big is that lump of dirty snow? It is taller than Mount Fuji, big enough to hide a Borg Cube, and it would make a cozy home for a space slug.
It's taken ten years, five months, and four days to get this close; now it's just two more burns over the next few days to get into final orbit. After that, it'll be a few months of not-so-remote sensing, photography, and other probing by the spacecraft. Finally, in November, Philae will be released to attempt to land on the comet. What do we know about the comet already? Aside from having a tongue-twister of a name, it's irregular object roughly 3 kilometers wide and 5 kilometers across that looks vaguely like a rubber ducky.
We already talked about when the European Space Agency put together a relative scale image comparing the comet to famous buildings and mountains:
But you know what you're really curious about is if a Borg Cube could be hiding behind one. Thankfully, Christopher Becke wanted to know, too, so put together a same-scale compilation of the comet compared to a few notable space-faring objects from Star Trek:
But even that wasn't enough — after all, if you're looking at all things Star Trek, it's a natural continuation to contemplate Star Wars, too. Which of course means determining if this comet could contain a hidden home for a space slug:
What other comparisons can we make? Here's the same, nicely oriented photograph of the comet:
It's roughly five kilometers along. Mix up some more comparisons — how big is it compared to a Death Star? How about mixing in some Stargate and compare it to Atlantis? Bring on your pop culture science references!