North polar view of the SPG SHAP4S shape model of C-G

The shape of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

In March 2004, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched its Rosetta spacecraft to investigate comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (C-G). After a ten year journey the Rosetta spacecraft reached C-G. Within the first month at the comet, the OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic and Infrared Remote Imaging System) camera system (Keller et al., 2007), acquired several hundred images of the illuminated surface of C-G (mainly on the northern hemisphere) using the Narrow Angle Camera (OSIRIS NAC) (Sierks et al., 2015). This dataset was used for the derivation of a shape model of the comet's nucleus by stereo-photogrammetric methods (SPG). The high-resolution shape model consists of more than 8 million vertices (16 million facets) at 2 m horizontal sampling. This SPG SHAP4S shape model and the SPG method are described in Preusker et al. (2015).

For access to the SPG SHAP4S shape model, please contact: Frank.Preusker(at)



Preusker, F. et al. 2015. Shape model, reference system definition, and cartographic mapping standards for comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko - Stereo-photogrammetric analysis of Rosetta/OSIRIS image data. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 583, A33, 2015.

Sierks, H. et al., 2015. On the nucleus structure and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, Science, 347, DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa1044, 2015.

Keller, H. U. et al., 2007. OSIRIS- The scientific camera system onboard Rosetta, Space Science Reviews, Vol. 128, Issue 1-4, pp. 433-506. DOI: 10.1007/s11214-006-9128-4/201015074.


2017: The new global DLR-SPG SHAP7 shape model of comet 67P/C-G

Six different aspects of the SPG SHAP7 shape model


Using additional image data that were acquired until February 2016, we were able to derive an improved shape model of C-G that now also covers the southern hemisphere and improves the quality and level of detail of some areas at low northern latitudes. This SPG SHAP7 shape model consists of 44 million facets (about 1-1.5 m point spacing) and is the first high-resolution global shape model of the nucleus of a comet. The model itself and some of its key characteristics are described in Preusker et al. (2017).

For access to the SPG SHAP7 shape model, please contact: Frank.Preusker(at)



Preusker, F. et al. 2017. The global meter-level shape model of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 607, L1, 2017.

Last update: 26/09/2017 07:14