“WTF!?! We just landed on a comet!?! Holy Cow!” ~me, in my living room
I think my reaction was close to many other human reactions who heard the news that humanity just landed a washing machine sized object on a comet that was traveling over 80,000 miles per hours.
I wish I could tell you in scientific speak what just happened, but I cannot. I’m just a nerd that thinks this is super cool. So much cooler than when they did it in Armageddon or the other Meteor Crashing into Earth Movie that year, Deep Impact (which was the better of the two).
Here’s what I do know. The Rosetta space craft was launched by the European Space Agency in 2004 and has spent the last decade closing in on the comet. Rosetta met up with the Comet 67P, exchanged phones numbers, and then Rosetta orbited Comet 67P around the Sun. Then, Philae, the actual landing craft, was deployed and successfully landed on the 2.5 mile wide comet.
Now a new phase of work begins. Scientists are hoping to find more clues to the creation of our universe. This comet has been around since the dawn of our solar system and most likely has many clues to what it was like back then. (DISCLAIMER – once again, I’m just a nerd on a couch and the term “back then” is scientific to me).
Here’s a few more cool things that have happened:
William Shatner sent a Good Luck Message:
We got to see the ecstatic faces of the ESA scientists and engineers who made this happen. Tears.
They discovered a sound. A SOUND on the comet. I’ve heard it described as “bubbles” but I have listened and I would say it’s more like Comet Crickets or Comet Cicadas. Yep. That’s what they are:
Some wonderful perspective for geeks like me that have devoted their lives to Star Trek:
Some REAL pics of Comet 67P from the ESA:
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