Finally found Philae!
Back in 2014, we were all very excited that the ESA had landed a spacecraft on the surface of a comet, but that excitement was tempered with a bit of uncertainty. The landing hadn't been a complete success, and the Philae lander bounced somewhere out of sight and, sadly, out of the sunlight it needed for power. Now, with the end of the mission approaching, the lander has been found—making its data even more useful.Read More
If you've ever wanted to dress up as your favorite Ghostbuster, then look no further.Read More
The Hubble Space Telescope has brought us no shortage of amazing imagery of the cosmos over the years, and it's just had a contract renewal for another five years in service. Let's all celebrate by looking at these amazing imagery it captured of Jupiter's massive auroras as the Juno mission speeds towards the planet for a closer look—recently crossing Jupiter's "bow shock."Read More
In space, no-one can hear you impregnate a planet.
Researchers at the University of Bern recently published a study which revealed that prebiotic chemicals, glycerine and phosphorus, were discovered in the Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. While it might not sound like a sexy result, this study is actually evidence of panspermia: the theory that life was transferred to Earth through objects like asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.Read More
We have trouble predicting whether or not it's going to rain on a given day (which is understandable, because meteorology is hard), so how did astronomers, for the first time, predict when a star—much further up in the sky than clouds—was going to explode so they could be watching? Well, technically, they didn't, but that doesn't make its predicted appearance any less impressive.Read More
You never call us anymore, Philae. We were so worried.
Back in January, the ESA's Philae lander literally went dark, going into hibernation mode to conserve its energy stores. Now, months later, the little lander has woken up as the comet's orbit passes close to the sun.Read More
We don't wanna miss a thing. Except maybe getting hit by an asteroid.
It happened to the dinosaurs - and there's a good chance it might happen to us. Well, not US-us, because anyone reading this might be long dead by the time that sort of thing happens. But STILL. It's good to have a plan. Thankfully, NASA is teaming up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to come up with one.Read More
"Coffee: the finest organic suspension ever devised."
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has been living it up on the ISS since November as flight engineer of the Futura mission, and celebrated the SpaceX Dragon freighter's delivery of supplies earlier this week (including specially-engineered, Borg-proof Italian space coffee) by sharing an extremely nerdy pic on Twitter.Read More
Like Philae, the rest of us would like to sleep until spring, please.
No matter what any agency-laden headlines might have you believe, ESA's Philae isn't hiding from us on purpose, and it will hopefully be able to tell us where it us relatively soon.Read More
Ok, this is pretty great.Read More
In space, no one can hear you scream. But if you were going to land on a comet while equipped with special acoustic sensors, they would definitely be able to hear that—and it would probably sound a little something like this.Read More
Still not aliens.
Celebration over ESA's historic landing on a comet may have been temporarily put on hold when the Philae lander was determined to be in a poor position to use its solar panels and lost power, but data it sent back before then still holds potential for some amazing discoveries. Now, ESA has announced that the comet is indeed home to organic compounds—but still no actual organic organisms. Just one little robot. Sorry.Read More
Philae, DO NOT GO GENTLE INTO THAT GOOD NIGHT.
The European Space Agency's Rosetta spent about ten years flying to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, so to say the fact that its Philae lander unintentionally wound up in the shadow of one of the comet's cliffs when it finally touched down was "bad luck" is a bit of an understatement. The mission has been a huge success so far, but things are looking grim for Philae's future.Read More
And that's the kind of intelligence that puts robots into space.
During a livestream for the Rosetta landing earlier this week, lead ESA Scientist Matt Taylor unwittingly started a controversy when he chose to wear a bowling shirt covered in sexualized women while meeting with the press. But here's some good news that might help erase the fleshy travesty from our permanently damaged retinas: Matt Taylor is sorry. Like, really, really sorry.Read More
Gotham better watch out.
If only it weren't part of DC's black and white series and we could get a pop of Babs Tarr's amazing colors in there! At least it looks totally rad—from all angles, too.Read More
Inna final analysis...
When you self-importantly declare that pictures of you will break the Internet, it's best to follow through. Best for you, that is—for the rest of us, it's much better that Rosetta and the #CometLanding event received more attention on Twitter than Kim Kardashian's #BreakTheInternet pictures.Read More
There. Much better!
Remember how a lead ESA scientist on the Rosetta livestream yesterday wore that awful shirt covered in sexualized women? Friend and TMS reader Rachel sent us this photo which goes ahead and fixes his look right up. What better way to wear your science pride on your sleeve than to rock a shirt covered in famous historical women in STEM?Read More
If only the game tutorial told you how to fire Philae's harpoons.
The European Space Agency made history yesterday when its Philae lander became the first spacecraft ever to make a soft landing on the surface of a comet. But you can get in on the action with NASA's Comet Quest game, which tasks you with piloting Rosetta, sending the Philae lander down to the surface of a comet, and studying the comet while avoiding its dangerous debris.Read More
Hang in there!
Philae made history today when it became the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on a comet, but the mission isn't over just yet. Contrary to initial reports, the spacecraft's anchor harpoons have yet to fire, and the team is working on a solution. The harpoons are needed to keep Philae on the surface of the giant spinning comet.Read More
My eyes hurt now.
This is Matt Taylor, the lead project scientist of the European Space Agency's Rosetta project—which, if you'll remember, involves soft landing a space probe that's been in orbit for 10 years onto the surface of a comet for the first time in history. He is, presumably, very intelligent. He is also wearing a shirt covered in cartoonishly sexy women. So. You know.Read More