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Philae

WATCH Rosetta's Philae's SUCCESSFUL drop on Comet 67P

Brace for action, comet-watchers! Today's the day that the Rosetta craft successfully dropped the probing Philae lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The European Space Agency (ESA) said Rosetta will make its last pre-drop burn at 0630 GMT. At around 1605GMT the ESA confirmed they had "telemetry" as Philae …
News team, 12 Nov 2014

COMET barrels towards Mars, machines of humanity race for cover

A cosmic rock that is older than mankind is expected to come within 87,000 miles (139,500 km) of Mars today. An artist's impression of comet Siding Spring's flyby oft Mars. Image credit: NASA NASA has been gearing up for the close encounter by hiding its satellites to protect the kit from being damaged by passing comet debris …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Oct 2014
Are you ready for your closeup, comet siding springs?

Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill

The first images of Comet Siding Spring, a celestial body deemed so menacing that humanity cocooned its very best robots, has turned out to be rather smaller than imagined. The first images of the comet, captured by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, suggest …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Oct 2014
How Philae lands on the comet

Dark side of the DUNE: Probot snaps shadowy comet surface selfie

The fate of the ESA's Philae comet lander may be adding grey to boffins' hair, but the craft is still functioning – and has sent back its first panoramic selfie from Comet 67P's surface. Philae panorama Light! I need light! Click to enlarge Thanks to the space rock's low gravity, the probe bounced at least a kilometre over …
Iain Thomson, 14 Nov 2014
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Race is on to touch down on COMET 67P before WHIFFY SPACE DUCK breaks up

Rosetta robot probe, Philae, is set to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on Wednesday, 12 November, when the craft's decade-long chase to reach the speeding, icy cosmic rock hits its target – if all goes to plan. But how long can we expect the comet to live? The European Space Agency's project scientist Matt Taylor …
Team Register, 09 Nov 2014

Human spacecraft dodge COMET CHUNKS pelting off Mars

Comet Siding Spring has made a close pass by Mars, apparently without incident to the human-built machines in the neighbourhood. NASA says the “Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter … continues operating in good health after sheltering behind Mars during the half hour when high-velocity dust particles from comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Oct 2014
Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko on August 8th

Game of Thrones man stars in sci-fi bit on comet-catcher Rosetta

Youtube Video The European Space Agency has teamed up with Polish director Tomek Bagiński to meld fact and fiction in the Rosetta-referencing short sci-fi film Ambition. Bagiński’s production company Platige Image filmed the short in Iceland with Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen and singer and actress Aisling Franciosi, best …

ESA sends back PRE-LANDING COMET CLOSE-UPS

The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe is preparing to make history by dropping a fridge-sized lander on the surface of a comet. ESA has scheduled Philae's detachment from Rosetta for 09:03 GMT on 12 November, and the agency hopes for a landing at 16:02 GMT. But before this pioneering mission concludes, Rosetta has …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Nov 2014
How Philae lands on the comet

Philae heads for comet, reports back to mothercraft Rosetta

The Philae lander’s science centre has had its first data update from the spacecraft, which has sent the first of many images, along with data, from its scientific instruments. El Reg's space vulture Brid-Aine Parnell reports from mission command at the ESA ops complex at Darmstadt, Germany. Philae snaps Rosetta spacecraft …

COMET 67P is basically TRAILING a HORRIFIC STENCH through space

The Rosetta probe that is orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is mainly preoccupied with firming up its plans for landing on the surface: however, there's still science to be done – and boffins have been taking a sniff at how the space snowball smells. For the last two months, the Rosetta Orbiter Sensor for Ion and Neutral …
Iain Thomson, 24 Oct 2014

'MYSTERIOUS PYRAMID STRUCTURE' found on COMET beyond Mars: Landing planned

Exciting news from outer space today, as it has emerged that a "mysterious" pyramid-like "structure" has been discovered on the surface of a comet plunging towards the inner solar system from beyond the orbit of Mars. Necropolis-esque comet structure The comet in question is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and the discovery has …
Lewis Page, 10 Oct 2014
Rosetta comet picture - wide angle

Spinning SPACE DUCK is comet-chasing Rosetta probe's PREY

New images captured by the Rosetta comet-chaser reveal that its target, comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, may be a “contact binary” – a class of object with two distinct and different segments. The European Space Agency (ESA) has been kind enough to provide an animated GIF of the comet to show off the two distinct parts of the …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Jul 2014
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

BOING, BOING! Philae BOUNCED TWICE on Comet 67P

It almost sounds like a cartoon from the 1950s: The Philae lander, which on 12 November had a successful rendezvous with Comet 67P after being released by the Rosetta spacecraft, bounced not once but twice, before finally settling on the surface of the space-rock. As reported quite soon after the landing, the boffins in charge …
Rosetta Selfie from 10 miles

This isn't a sci-fi movie: It's a human-made probe snapping a comet selfie

The European Space Agency’s Rosetta comet-hunter craft has sent back its last selfie, taken from just 10 miles – 16 kilometres – from Comet 67P/C-G. The selfie was snapped by Philae, the lander that will descend to the comet on November 12. The lander used its CIVA instruments to take the snap. The CIVA-P part of the instrument …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Oct 2014
Rosetta

DODGY THRUSTER won't stop PHILAE hurtling toward COMET SHOWDOWN

The fridge-sized science 'bot the European Space Agency hopes will land on a comet hurtling through space today has successfully separated from its comet-chasing parent craft, Rosetta. Scientists at ESA Mission Control look on nervously as Philae approaches the comet. Pic: ESA/J. Mai Scientists at ESA Mission Control look on …
Philae

DRAMA in SPACE: But Philae KEEPS TRYING to HARPOON COMET

The ESA's comet-chaser spacecraft Rosetta will send its lander Philae towards Comet 67P on Wednesday – after some scrambling by boffins here in Germany over the past few hours to get the probe ready for its historic landing attempt. The comet is hurtling through space at 135,000km per hour towards the Sun, and the ESA hopes …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

SUPER-JAMMY Philae comet probe got down WITHOUT harpoons

ESA head of mission operations Paolo Ferri has said that the harpoons meant to anchor the Philae lander to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko did not actually fire as they'd thought earlier. Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P But regardless, the craft is reporting that it’s stable on the space-rock, so the …
Terry Lovejoy's comet discovery

Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet

It's too early to be certain, but with confirmation of a new, possibly near-Earth comet slated for a pass in early January 2015, sky-watchers will be working hard to calculate just how close it's going to come. The new object, C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy), is the fifth discovered by Australian amateur Terry Lovejoy. As Universe Today …
Spitting Image God

LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Scientists at the ESA claim that "organic" molecules - the so-called building blocks of life itself - have been found on the icy surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko by the sadly now defunct Philae lander probot. Dr Fred Goessmann, principal investigator on the Cometary Sampling and Composition instrument (COSAC), told BBC …
Iain Thomson, 18 Nov 2014
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

Euro space boffins ready, mere HOURS from flinging Rosetta lander at Comet 67P

The ESA's comet probe Philae has been given the first official nod in its historic attempt to land on Comet 67P: boffins at the European Space Agency say the lander's Rosetta mothercraft is on the right path towards the soaring cosmic rock. The agency's European Space Operations Centre (ESOC) Flight Dynamics staff had to confirm …
Rosetta selfie

'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet

The European Space Agency has maneuvered its Rosetta probe into the perfect position for a selfie with its target – comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta selfie "Breaker one-nine, this here's the Rubber Duck" (click to enlarge) The image was taken on September 7 using cameras on Rosetta's Philae lander that will …
Iain Thomson, 10 Sep 2014

ESA's comet-chasing Rosetta eyes up 67P's vital statistics

Incomplete yet more detailed measurements of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, taken by the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe, were released on Friday. And now you can 3D print your own copy of the cosmic rock as a result. Comet 67P/C-G dimensions. Images: NAVCAM (snapped on 19 August). Dimensions: OSIRIS Boffins at the ESA …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Oct 2014
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Philae healthier... beams CHEESE: Proud ESA shows off FIRST COMET SURFACE PIC

The ESA’s historic comet-landing probot Philae has re-established contact with mission control and is currently stable on the surface. El Reg's space vulture Brid-Aine Parnell reports from mission command at the ESA ops complex at Darmstadt, Germany. Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P BEHOLD! The first …
leonids

It's space WAR: Comet launches fireballs at space-invading EARTH

Early-bird skywatchers in the US are in for a treat this week: the annual Leonid meteor shower starts just after midnight and will peak just before dawn on Tuesday. leonids If you wish upon a star... "We're predicting 10 to 15 meteors per hour," said Bill Cooke of the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space …
Iain Thomson, 17 Nov 2014
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS

European Space Agency (ESA) boffins reckon they may have located the final touchdown site for their comet-intercepting Philae lander, after its bouncy landing caused them to lose track of it temporarily. Philae's bouncing touchdown seen in Rosetta NAVCAM pics Philae's touchdown site seen by Rosetta's navigation camera. The …
Rosetta

Rosetta's comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is one FUGLY space rock

The European Space Agency's (ESA's) Rosetta probe reached its intended orbit around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last week. Since then we've heard … well more or less nothing, actually. The ESA has said very little about what Rosetta is doing, or learning, way out there in the unfashionable parts of the solar system. But …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2014
Landing sites on Rosetta's comet

Euro space boffins narrow down lander sites on comet doing 135,000km/h toward Sun

The European Space Agency has identified five possible sites where its Rosetta spacecraft could probe comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Over the past twenty days, spent in the vicinity of the 3.5km by 4km rock, the craft has taken loads of photographs for the Rosetta team. The boffins have now picked the best places to drop the …
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

What a pain in the mass! Euro craft Rosetta to poke its probe in 10-BILLION-tonne comet

The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has made the first measurement of the mass of the comet it's chasing – and has come up with a mass of 10 billion tonnes, plus or minus 10 per cent. comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Does my mass look big in this? Rosetta has spent the past ten years, and six billion kilometres, getting …
Iain Thomson, 21 Aug 2014
Rosetta

TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has revealed just how its Rosetta comet probe will close to within just 10km of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta arrived at the comet on August 6th and has since sent back lovely photos of the rock. The mission plan calls for even better photos to become possible by bringing Rosetta …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
Philae ROLIS view of the comet landing site from 40m

Lights OUT for Philae BUT slumbering probot could phone home again as comet nears Sun

Philae's final hurrah (for now at least) on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ended with success, the mission's jubilant boffins confirmed late last night. The fridge-sized, plucky probot, which made the historic landing on the speeding, icy space-rock 300 million miles (or 500 million kilometres) from Earth on Wednesday, was …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Nov 2014
Rosetta

Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen

The European Space Agency has selected a site for the Rosetta space probe's lander, which is attempting to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The region – labelled Site J – lies at the top of the rock, which is unevenly shaped and measures about 4km across at its widest point. The Rosetta craft is now within 30km of …
Jasper Hamill, 15 Sep 2014
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

On Nov 12, a human-made space lab will try to HARPOON a COMET and land on it

The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially set the date for its Rosetta probe's Philae lander to touch down on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The craft will harpoon and set down on the high-speed cosmic rock on November 12. Rosetta comet landing spot ESA hoping for a safe touchdown The Rosetta space probe is orbiting …
Iain Thomson, 16 Oct 2014
Agilkia landing site on November 6

FIRST for HUMANITY: Fridge-size PROBOT headed for COMET TOUCHDOWN

The European Space Agency is at the eve of one of its most ambitious projects: the passive landing of a small scientific craft on the surface of a comet that’s hurtling through space at over 60,000kmph. Your El Reg correspondent will be reporting from the ESA control centre at Darmstadt, Germany, bringing you the story as it …
Philae ROLIS view of the comet landing site from 3km

BOUNCY BOUNCY: Comet probot Philae landed TWICE

ESA scientists are still a bit baffled about just how they managed to land their Philae probe on the surface of Comet 67P after the craft's harpoons failed to fire into the rock. And they think it’s possible Philae landed not once, but twice. It's the first time ever humanity has set down on a comet – and this one's 500 million …
Rosetta

Comet-chasing Rosetta spies SWEATY prey

The European Space Agency's (ESA) Rosetta comet-chaser has clocked 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko "releasing the equivalent of two small glasses of water into space every second" - enough to " fill an Olympic-size swimming pool in about 100 days". Graphic showing rate of water vapour outgassing from the comet It's going to take a …
Lester Haines, 01 Jul 2014
Agilkia landing site on November 6

'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P

The ESA has succeeded in humanity’s first ever attempt to land a man-made probe on a comet after Philae touched down on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. “Yes, yes, YES!” said Andrea Accamazzo, Rosetta flight director. “We see the lander sitting on the ground!” After a tense build-up, the European Space Agency’s …
Rosetta on its Mars flyby

ESA readies Rosetta for next year's comet touchdown

More than nine years after its launch, and after a long deep-sleep, the ESA's Rosetta comet-hunter is soon to be woken up for a November 2014 rendezvous with comet comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. ESA officials will be watching the clock after 10:00 GMT on January 20, waiting to receive the signals that will tell them Rosetta …
Rosetta

We sent a probe SIX BILLION km to measure temperature of a COMET doing 135,000 km/h

The comet-chasing spacecraft Rosetta has got close enough to its target to start getting temperature readings. The results show that comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko isn't the snowball some boffins were expecting. Between 13 and 21 July Rosetta moved within 5,000 kilometers of the rapidly spinning comet and used its visible, …
Iain Thomson, 02 Aug 2014
Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

SCORE: Rosetta probe hits orbit of duck-shaped comet

After a 10-year-long chase of the pleasingly duck-shaped "67P", the European Space Agency’s Rosetta probe has become the first spacecraft in history to rendezvous with a comet. Watch live streaming video from eurospaceagency at livestream.com “After 10 years, five months and four days travelling towards our destination, …
SOHO images showing a trail around the Sun, which may be the remains of Comet Ison

NASA pic: DOOMED ice Comet ISON literally had snowball's chance in hell

NASA reckons only a little bit of plucky Comet ISON survived a close encounter with the Sun – and judging by this space photo, we're not surprised. After reaching its perihelion during Thanksgiving, the iceball failed to reappear, at least according to the agency's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which captured the portion of space …
Lester Haines, 29 Nov 2013
Rosetta

Astounding: We're about to stick a probe in orbit of a COMET

The European Space Agency will be on tenterhooks tonight as the Rosetta space probe reaches its final destination and begins the burn sequence that will put a man-made spacecraft in orbit around a comet for the first time. After a much-delayed launch in 2004, Rosetta has spent the last ten years chasing through the solar system …
Iain Thomson, 06 Aug 2014
Comet ISON (Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona)

RIP Comet ISON: ???-2013. We hardly knew ye

Comet ISON plunged towards the Sun today and didn't emerge to tell the tale. That's the verdict from NASA and Comet-watchers. Here's a NASA video of the comet's last few thousand kilometres of life. Watch Video Doesn't look encouraging, does it? NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) was rigged up to spot the comet if it …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2013
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

COMET lander DRILL CLIFFHANGER as last dregs of power used

The Philae team has opted to use what could be the last of the comet-catching lander’s power to deploy its drill, in the hopes of collecting the chemical analysis that could answer fundamental questions about life on Earth. Artist In a nail-biting cliffhanger end to the lander's story, the plucky probot’s protuberance had …
Solar flare from sunspot AR1339

WATCH LIVE: Comet ISON DESTROYED by Sun, NASA brains fear

It's being billed as an epic battle between two cosmic forces - and The Reg is pleased to point our readers to a free ringside seat. In the live NASA feed below, you be able to watch the nail-biting moments before and after the 2km wide Comet Ison reaches its closest point of approach to the Sun at 18:44 GMT (13:44 Eastern, 10: …
Jasper Hamill, 28 Nov 2013

First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

The European Space Agency's Rosetta probe has sent back the first two aligned images of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet it has been chasing for ten years and nearly 800 million kilometres. Rosetta comet picture - wide angle Wide angle, tiny target ... that spec is what the ESA is trying to land on The Rosetta mission …
Iain Thomson, 28 Mar 2014
Comet ISON (Credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona)

Fun-killing fireshow-flunking ZOMBIE COMET ISON only LOOKED alive

The images that appeared to capture the resurrection of Comet ISON have turned out to be nothing more than a few snaps of the space rock's ghost, as it has continued to fade from view. After the comet seemingly came back from the dead after sputtering out just prior to perihelion*, astroboffins are now coming to the conclusion …

COMET ISON's sun dive climax: RENDEZVOUS with DESTINY

NASA has released a nifty video of Comet Ison as it makes its way inexorably towards its closest encounter with the Sun in just over three hours now at 18:44 GMT, 28 November. STEREO image of Ison approaching the Sun. Pic: NASA Made up of pictures from the Heliospheric Imager of the agency's STEREO-A (Solar Terrestrial …
Lester Haines, 27 Nov 2013

Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

Comet-connoisseur Karl Battams of the Naval Research Laboratory has released a heartfelt – and more than a little tongue-in-cheek – eulogy for Comet C/2012 S1, aka ISON, which suffered a fiery death last Thursday when it was roasted, toasted, melted, and smelted by our merciless Sun. Comet ISON 'This is how comet C/2012 S1 ( …
Rik Myslewski, 02 Dec 2013
Comet ISON

Possibly EXPLODING or GLORIOUS Comet ISON: The (GIF) MOVIE

Retired teacher Bruce Mellin in the US has snapped a few shots of comet ISON on its way towards its potential doom or glory at solar perihelion later this month. Comet ISON Using the Harvard-Smithsonian MicroObservatory's "Donald" remote robo telescope in Arizona, Mellin grabbed some low-res images of the comet, which the …

Basically RUBBISH 'COMET of the Century' ISON snapped by HiRISE in Mars orbit

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter circling high above the red planet has taken a break from its normal assignment of staring down at the ochre world beneath to get some snaps of Comet ISON as it passes by en route to the inner solar system. Not going to set the world on fire. Or even the sky Despite the fact that the orbiter …
Lewis Page, 04 Oct 2013