Articles about Comet

Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

Dormant ALIEN SLIME LIFE frozen in SPEEDING comet will AWAKEN - boffins

Top astrobiologists say that the approaching comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko could be loaded with slumbering alien organisms capable of living on Earth, which will wake up and become active as the frosty spaceball comes nearer and nearer to the Sun. Dr Max Wallace and Professor Chandra Wickramasinghe say that data from the …
Lewis Page, 06 Jul 2015
German Aerospace Center depiction of Philae on Comet 67/P

Kamikaze Rosetta probe to ram comet it's chased for billions of miles

The European Space Agency's Rosetta space probe will continue to study Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko until September 2016 – after which the craft will be sent crashing into the mysterious rock. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko The latest image of the comet from Rosetta The Rosetta mission is at least a decade-old, and it …
Iain Thomson, 23 Jun 2015

Comet-invader Philae goes silent, mothership Rosetta forced to retreat

The European Space Agency (ESA) has all but lost contact with its Philae lander on Comet 67P – and attempts to reestablish communications are being hampered by the rock itself. Philae, which was dropped off onto the comet from its mothership Rosetta, has more or less been silent for 11 days. Rosetta, which still orbits Comet …
Iain Thomson, 20 Jul 2015
German Aerospace Center depiction of Philae on Comet 67/P

Sun like it hot: Philae comet probe wakes up, phones home again

The Philae probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been in contact again, the European Space Agency has confirmed – and the lander is getting more than enough sunshine on its solar panels to power itself continuously. Battery warm & solar panels getting energy. Anxious to explore, comet day & night! More about # …
Iain Thomson, 19 Jun 2015
Approximate locations of five lander candidates initially identified in high-resolution OSIRIS Narrow Angle Camera images taken in Dec 2014. Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam

Boffins, feeling around in dark for Philae, lit up by bright spot on Comet 67/P

Vid The European Space Agency has determined a "good candidate" for the location of its Philae probot, which successfully landed on Comet 67/P in November last year. Since then, the location of the spacecraft's final resting place has remained a mystery for boffins working on the Rosetta mission. However, on Thursday the ESA said …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Jun 2015
Rosetta Selfie from 10 miles

Rosetta SNIFFS molecular nitrogen on Comet 67P

The Rosetta orbiter has spotted molecular nitrogen, N2, on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency (ESA) has confirmed. The ESA's relaying news from a freshly-published paper titled molecular nitrogen in comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko indicates a low formation temperature. The presence of nitrogen on 67P …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2015
Philae

Comet 67P found to be COMPLETELY UNATTRACTIVE

The Philae Lander should soon see enough sun to resume operations on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkoduring April or May, the European Space Agency's (ESA's) lander manager Stephan Ulamec told the European Geosciences Union General Assembly earlier this week. Philae hitched a ride to 67P aboard the Rosetta probe and descended to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Apr 2015
How Philae lands on the comet

Comet 67/P CAKED in LIFE-GIVING RUBBLE, say astroboffins

When the Philae lander failed to touch down cleanly on Comet 67P/Churyumov­-Gerasimenko, the mission looked like a mess. But the probe's four bounces across the comet's surface turn out to have been a blessing in disguise because they've given us more close-ups of 67P than expected. The results have now appeared in a special …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015
Philae

Lost SPACECRAFT believed FOUND ON COMET

The European Space Agency has released an image it says hints at where the Philae lander dispatched to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko came to rest. Comet-watchers will recall that Philae was carried to 67P by the Rosetta spacecraft, which dropped the washing-machine-sized lander last November 12th. All went well until the …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Feb 2015
Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy's greenish glow visible with naked eye this weekend

Northern stargazers in low-light environments should be able to pick up a greenish-looking space rock in the night's sky – as Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) makes its closest approach to Earth in living memory. Comet Lovejoy expelling carbon So long, won't see you later Lovejoy, named after the Australian amateur astronomer Terry …
Iain Thomson, 10 Jan 2015
Philae takes a first look at the surface of Comet 67P

ALIEN SLIME SHOCKER: Approaching comet probably NOT inhabited, say boffins

The Rosetta probe's Earth-bound shepherds have sternly stated that suggestions of alien life within comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - around which the probe is in orbit - are "pure speculation". Let us put aside the conflict humanity will eventually face if and when we do encounter alien life for a later date, and report …
Philae

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

Live Vid 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

Pic 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
Comet 67P closeup

SPACE the FINAL FRONTIER: These are the images of COMET PROBE ROSETTA

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released details of the first bushel of studies derived from the Rosetta spacecraft's visit to Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The journal Science has devoted a special issue to seven studies of the comet, but let's do a summary here. For starters, boffins have decided that 67P is fluffy, or …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jan 2015
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

Panoramic pic 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

Vid 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

Pics 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
Stonehenge by https://www.flickr.com/photos/archeon/ cc 2.0 attribution no derivatives

Pundits ponder perilous placement of STANDING STONES on Comet 67P

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released images of what it's cautiously calling "an unusual formation of boulders in the Aker region on the large lobe of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... reminiscent of so-called 'balancing rocks' on Earth." The three stones, depicted below, appear to be have a rather small footprint. So …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2015
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
How Philae lands on the comet

Philae heads for comet, reports back to mothercraft Rosetta

Pic 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 Selfie from 10 miles

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

Pic 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
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 …
Artist's impression of Philae on Comet 67P

ESA finds FOURTH comet touchdown for Philae lander

The European Space Agency has conducted deeper analysis of just what happened to the Philae lander during its descent to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and now believes the craft bounced off the wandering rock three times, not twice as was previously thought to the be case. The new analysis re-tells the now-familiar story of …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Dec 2014
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 …
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 …
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 …
The COSIMA instrument aboard Rosetta

I'll get my coat – there's a dusty one flying off Comet 67P

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is shedding four years worth of accumulated dust as it hurtles towards the Sun, say scientists after studying the output of the Rosetta spacecraft's COmetary Secondary Ion Mass Analyser, aka COSIMA. A gaggle of astroboffins have penned a letter titled “Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko sheds dust …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2015
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
Rosetta selfie

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

Pic 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

Pic 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 …
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 …
leonids

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

Pic 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 …
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

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

Vid 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
Sorry we're closed

Failed would-be COMET saviour now FAILS to save his own biz

A creditors' meeting has been called for Lewisons Wholesale, an electrical retailer run by Clive Coombes, the man that tried and failed to resurrect the brand name of fallen UK High Street giant Comet. As revealed by the Register last month, Lewisons Wholesale was struggling to remain afloat and had notched up eight County Court …
Paul Kunert, 15 Dec 2014
67P_Churyumov_Gerasimenko_August_8th

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

Pic 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

Pic 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 …