Comet-Chasing Probe Reveals Space Rock's Strange Shape

A space probe aiming to become the first to land on a comet has taken images that appear to show its target could actually be two separate lumps of rock and ice, scientists said Thursday.

The pictures released by the European Space Agency were taken by its Rosetta probe, which is nearing the final stage of its decade-long mission to drop a lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

"Some people have already likened the shape to a duck, with a distinct body and head," the European Space Agency said. Mission scientist Matt Taylor had a different comparison: "a strange-looking potato."

"It's certainly an exciting surprise," said Taylor. Until now 67P was believed to have a more compact, rounded form.

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