philae first photo
Philae sends first photo after successful comet landing. ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Philae has sent back the first photo from the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko after successfully leaving Rosetta and landing last night.

"Now that I'm safely on the ground, here is what my new home 67P looks like from where I am," the lander tweeted.

The photo shows boulders and rocks – as scientists at the European Space Agency had expected.

comet landing
Philae's comet landing approach. ESA

"Rosetta Mission's lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. The full panoramic from CIVA will be delivered in this afternoon's press briefing at 13:00 GMT," the ESA said in a statement.

Contact with Philae was re-established this morning after the link with Rosetta became unstable after landing.

This was resolved after Rosetta rose higher above the Philae landing site, meaning the lander could transmit information from the surface.

There were also problems with the landing – it emerged the harpoons had not deployed as they were supposed to and Philae had to attempt landing three times.

Ignacio Tanco, deputy spacecraft operations manager, has now said Philae is doing "very well".

A statement said: "The team are ensuring that Rosetta maintains an orbit that is optimised for lander communication support; they are planning a manoeuvre (thruster burn) today to be conducted on Friday that will help keep Rosetta where it should be. Rosetta already conducted a burn last night as part of this effort."