Thursday, August 07, 2014

Rosetta Arrives at a Comet!

This is Phil Plait’s (my favorite astronomer) posting on Rosetta’s arrival at comet 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

I met Phil in Ft. Lauderdale years ago and I have been a follower of his writings and his presentations for years.

Here he introduces us to the latest pictures from Rosetta (Wikipedia link) who has been travelling since 2004 to reach the comet.

rosetta_aug32014_590.jpg.CROP.original-original

Photo by ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

For the next month it will keep orbiting the comet, closer and closer and then release a “lander” that will softly touch down on the comet’s surface and due to the low gravity to keep it in place, will shoot some harpoons to anchor itself there ands spend a year at least, doing experiments and testing the soil. Science is awesome!