How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Between the 23rd of September and the 21st of November 2014 ESA's Rosetta mission made its closest orbital passes of Comet 67-P/C-G, coming to within 8 km of the surface during and after Philae's plucky landing sequence.

ESA has now released its archive of NAVCAM imagery from this part of the mission, containing a staggering 1,776 images. You can access the full library here. Although not as high-resolution as the OSIRIS science camera, these images more than make up for that with their coverage.

During this period the spacecraft was following an intricate series of orbital manuevers to get in close to the lumpy cometary nucleus.

The result is a truly extraordinary photographic gallery, each image is a portrait, yet each image is merely a tiny part of a grander portrait. There is immense scientific value in this archive, a trove to be sifted through for clues and insights to the nature of one of the most ancient cosmic bodies we've ever explored.

But there is also a purely aesthetic value. Take a few minutes to peruse, and remember that scenes like these exist across the universe, in their trillions, quadrillions, and more.

 

ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM
ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM