First: exciting things happened this week! Ms. Kjonaas generously helped to compile a lot of the cool information that you can find below.
Second: if you're bored this Saturday, and want to not be bored, we're planning on going to see Interstellar at Providence Place at 4:15pm! (Standard, not IMAX.) If you're interested, please let me know!
Have a great end of the week -
Events and Information
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Rosetta, the first mission to orbit a comet, successfully landed its probe, Philae, on Comet 67P on Wednesday. Landing a probe on a comet is an incredibly challenging task - you can read more about the landing here.
It has recently come to light that the landing was not quite smooth - Philae bounced twice and ultimately landed on its side in the shadow of a cliff. Its solar panels will not be able to collect enough energy to keep it powered past the life of the battery, making the mission a race against time. The European Space Agency is looking into how they might repurpose the drill or harpoon located on the lander to give it a jolt.
The descent took seven hours, after a long ten years of travelling through space to rendezvous with the comet. Rosetta was launched in March of 2004 and traveled a total of 6.4 billion kilometers.
Above: the first photo of Philae on Comet 67P. It’s a composite photo, taken by a camera on the orbiter.
Below: a video (released before the landing) of the process by which the Philae lander descended.
Protoplanetary Disk Image