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
What hath science wrought?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
I mean, anything's possible.
ESA landing a robot on the surface of a comet was a monumental achievement that could teach us a lot about the formation of our solar system and others, but some people just aren't happy with space until ALIENS. Some UK astrobiologists have suggested that, due to characteristics of Comet 67p, the Philae lander—which has finally woken up again—could be about to find (microbial) aliens, but don't get too excited; they're kind of "the boys who cried aliens."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
Here are the moments from 2014 that made us laugh, cry, cheer and want to put on a ball gown in honor of the women and girls--both present and past--whose achievements in STEM are changing the world.Read More
At the beginning of November, I attended a lecture on the preparations for the Rosetta Mission launch of the Philae Lander at a museum in San Francisco hosted by the museum’s senior scientist, Isabel Hawkins.Read More
Ok, this is pretty great.Read More
Rosetta takes a sad song and makes it better.
When we suggested that the Internet remix the "song" of Rosetta's Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, we didn't expect anyone to take it quite this far, but we're sure glad they did. (More awesome remixes after the jump.)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
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
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
History is happening currently.
Rosetta has one chance to make history by landing Philae on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and the procedure is starting up in space right now. You can watch along with the ESA's live stream overnight and into tomorrow when Philae will finally touch down on the comet's surface.Read More
Comets... in their multitudes, scarce to be counted, filling the darkness...
You'd think a comet would be silent, because it's in space, but you—and the ESA's scientists—would be surprised. Rosetta has detected a sub-human-hearing oscillation in the particles around Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko caused by its magnetic field. The best part? This comet "song" was completely unexpected by scientists, and they still don't have a solid explanation for it. 1,000 bonus points to any musicians out there who work this into an actual song.Read More