Posts Tagged ‘comets’

Did Comets Prepare Earth for Life?

February 9, 2017

Did Comets Prepare Earth for Life?

One of the big Space stories last year involved the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.  Data from the mission found that the 2.5 mile long “dirty snowball” orbiting the sun every 6.44 years contains not just frozen water and water vapor but the mineral phosphorus and the amino acid glycine, two more of the building blocks of life.

More:

“Rosetta’s comet has the right ingredients for life,” Rachel Feltman, Washington Post

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-nXh

Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht, who knows 67P has no tail. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Here Comes a Comet. Duck!

March 22, 2016

Here Comes a Comet. Duck!

Comet P/2016 BA14 is passing close to Earth today, whizzing by a mere 2.2 million miles above our planet. You may have felt the breeze from its twin yesterday. Comet 252P/LINEAR came within 3.3 million miles of us.

More:

“A ‘Tail’ of Two Comets,” Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA

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Short linkhttp://wp.me/p6sb6-nuf

Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Comet Lander: It’s Alive!

June 15, 2015

Comet Lander: It's Alive!

The Philae device the European Space Agency landed on a comet has emerged from 7 months of hibernation and phoned home, sending a radio signal from Comet 67P. The ESA Rosetta Orbiter landed Philae after a 10 year space voyage, but the washing-machine-sized device bounced into a shadowed part of the comet’s surface and couldn’t recharge its solar cells until now.

More:

“European space probe, thought lost, awakes in comet’s shadows,” Thomas Atkins, Reuters

“ESA’s Philae comet lander wakes up after seven months of hibernation,” Sebastian Anthony, Ars Technica UK

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European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

November 12, 2014

European Space Probe Lands on a Comet

7 hours after Europe’s Rosetta orbiter launched Philae, a washing-machine-sized robot probe, it landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a big ball of ice and rock 314 million miles away and traveling through space at 34,000 miles an hour. The ESA probe will remain there transmitting data until August 2015 as the comet slowly melts from the heat of the sun.

The international space mission has been a long time in the making. Comet-chasing Rosetta was launched ten years ago. The scientific importance of the Rosetta mission cannot be over-estimated. Comets are frozen repositories of early stages of the solar system.

More:

“European Probe Makes Historic Comet Landing,” VOA News

“Comet-Chasing Spacecraft Lands Probe After 10 Year Flight,” Alex Morales, Bloomberg News

“Mankind Has Landed on a Comet,” Sarah Zhang, Gizmodo

“Touchdown! Rosetta’s Philae Probe Lands on Comet.” (ESA press release)

“The Rosetta comet mission cost half as much as the US midterm elections,” Joseph Stromberg, Vox

“Bill Nye on the Rosetta Comet Landing: ‘We’ll make discoveries that nobody’s imagined yet,'” Big Think

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Short link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-kcg

Image (“Comet, after Charles Martin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.