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First off, apologies for posting here so seldom. Most of my blogs appear first on Tumblr (mckitterick.tumblr.com), because it's so much faster to post stuff there, and it so easily cross-blogs to my Facebook and my Twitter accounts. LJ and DW are just SO SLOW to use.... If you're on Tumblr and/or Twitter, please follow me there and I'll do the same, so we can stay in better contact!

Anyhow. On with the AWESOME.

Welcome to a comet


First touchdown

Comet from 40 metres

And if you want to see the first DRAMATIC AS HELL images of the comet from space, check out yesterday's post here.

Rosetta's little Philae probe lands safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko!

The top photo shows one of the lander's feet in the foreground, safely on the ground. The second and third shots show where Philae hoped to land, but bounced: I love this description:

"Soon after the lander touched down yesterday, scientists realized they had a problem. A pair of harpoons designed to tether the probe to the surface of the comet never fired. The probe weighed more than 200 pounds when it was on Earth, but on the comet, it weighs about as much as a sheet of paper. So with nothing to hold it down, it bounced. Data now shows the first bounce took more than two hours. A second bounce lasted just a few minutes. The first photo from the surface showed the lander's leg next to a rugged-looking outcropping of rock or ice. It is humanity's first view from the surface of a comet."

The last image was taken by Philae's down-looking descent ROLIS imager when it was about 40 meters above the surface. The photos reveal a surface covered by dust and debris ranging from millimeter to meter sizes. The large block in the top-right corner is 5 meters across.

We'll get full-panorama shots FROM THE SURFACE OF A COMET later today. The aim of the ROLIS (Rosetta Lander Imaging System) experiment is to study the texture and microstructure of the comet's surface. Photo source.

PS: Bonus photo... someone giffed the Rosetta and Philae landing images from xkcd:


( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 13th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
In the photos, it looks so still. Easy to forget how quickly everything is hurtling through space, all together. WOW.
Nov. 13th, 2014 04:43 pm (UTC)
GOOD POINT! Sure, motion is all relative to position, but still... tens of thousands of miles per hour here, folks, and spinning at the same time.

Nov. 13th, 2014 07:33 pm (UTC)
So I copy the link, wireless it to our router, it goes up to a satellite, comes down to our router, goes to my partner's mailbox which is about 3 feet behind my chair.


Nov. 14th, 2014 02:50 pm (UTC)
Our little obedient robots ROCK.

Let's hope we avoid the whole SkyNet thing....
Nov. 14th, 2014 03:31 am (UTC)
This is so thrilling! Thanks for posting!
Nov. 14th, 2014 02:47 pm (UTC)
I admit to totally geeking out about this in my SF class yesterday.

Nov. 14th, 2014 03:46 am (UTC)
All our brave little robots. One has gone beyond our solar system for the first time, maybe two. Others are serving on Mars. And this one has LANDED ON A COMET! WOOT.

Seriously. Someone on my FB feed asked why people were excited about it. WTF Dude? We drove something through space at thousands of miles per hour, pursuing and meeting something else traveling thousands of miles an hour. Holy crap, that is impressive.
Nov. 14th, 2014 02:48 pm (UTC)

Nov. 14th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC)
And, yeah, I can't imagine the denseness of someone who CAN'T get excited about this. Those two little explorers spent 10 YEARS chasing down the comet. TEN YEARS. And successfully landed.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )