Monday, November 9, 2020

The Ice of Comet 67P Revealed

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Solar System, Astrophysics, Cosmology, Geology, Earth Science, Earth and Space Science

Ed Hessler

Six years have passed since the arrival of the Philae Lander on comet 67P. You may recall that the landing was very bumpy and bouncy, resulting in the lander finally perched on its side. This made it impossible for it to sample the comet's icy interior. Philae then went to sleep. 

End of story.


Those ingenious mechanics who work from one of Earth's space garages launched, so to speak, "a painstaking investigation (and) has reconstructed Philae’s final journey and discovered data that allows them to measure the strength of the ice inside the comet - the first time this kind of direct measurement has been made."

This is another incredible story of human ingenuity, know-how and patience in working out the details of many pieces of data. A film (5m 38s) from the British journal Nature, describes how this was done. It is an achievement.

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