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Rosetta Makes First Detection of Cometary Molecular Nitrogen, Seeks Signals From Philae Lander

Rosetta has made the first detection of molecular nitrogen at a comet. The results provide clues about the temperature environment in which Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko formed. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab; comet: ESA/Rosetta/NavCam – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Rosetta, humankind’s first spacecraft to orbit a comet, has now made the first detection of molecular nitrogen (N2) at […]

ESA's Rosetta Spacecraft Begins Search for Signs of Life From Philae

From ESA, “Welcome to a Comet”: “Philae’s view of the cliffs at Abydos. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground.” Image Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Could it be possible that a lander the size of a washing machine, thought to be lost nearly four months ago following its passing into shadow, […]

Rosetta’s Valentine’s Day Flyby Encounter Produces Stunning Comet Close-Ups

Backside view of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Four image mosaic of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comprising images taken on 14 February 2015 at 10:15 GMT just prior to closest approach from a distance of 12.6 km from the comet centre (about 10.6 km from the surface). For the comet centre distance, the image scale is 1.1 m/pixel. In […]

Rosetta Captures Spectacular Comet Jets Blasting Away Ahead of Valentine’s Day Encounter

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko belching gas and dust This four-image mosaic comprises images taken from a distance of 28.7 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 3 February and released on 9 February 2015. The image resolution is 2.4 m/pixel and the individual 1024 x 1024 frames measure 2.5 km across. The mosaic measures 4.2 […]

Rosetta Reveals Cracked Comet Covered With Dust and Spewing Pits

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko regional maps The 19 regions identified on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko are separated by distinct geomorphological boundaries. Following the ancient Egyptian theme of the Rosetta mission, they are named for Egyptian deities. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Scientists leading Europe’s Rosetta orbiter mission have discovered a wondrous array of rugged surface terrain, mysterious […]

Rosetta Team Focusing on Upcoming Comet and Lander Science, Planning Ultra Close Flyby

From the location where it came to rest after bounces, the Philae lander of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission captured this view of a cliff on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The feature is called “Perihelion Cliff.” The image is from the lander’s CIVA camera. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

The team guiding Europe’s history-making Rosetta […]

Rosetta Observations Spark Debate on Origin of Earth's Water

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 20 November 2014. This mosaic comprises four individual NAVCAM images taken from 30.8 km from the centre of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 20 November 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Comets? Asteroids? Or what?

One of the most basic questions driving Astronomy and Space Exploration is: Where did the water […]

Rosetta Team Homing In on Philae’s Historic Final Comet Touchdown Site and Organics Location

Philae’s final landing site, estimated by CONSERT. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CONSERT

By combining tantalizing clues from several different science instruments, the Rosetta science team is homing in on the location of Europe’s plucky Philae lander’s final landing site after successfully completing history’s first-ever soft landing on a comet, nearly two weeks ago, and discovering organic molecules.

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Philae Detects Organic Molecules at Comet Landing Site

OSIRIS spots Philae drifting across the comet. These incredible images show the breathtaking journey of Rosetta’s Philae lander as it approached and then rebounded from its first touchdown on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Europe’s intrepid and plucky Philae spacecraft has detected organic molecules on the surface […]

Philae Lands Three Times, Transmits Full Science Data Package, Then Sleeps ... For Now

Rosetta’s lander Philae has returned the first panoramic image from the surface of a comet. The view as it has been captured by the CIVA-P imaging system, shows a 360º view around the point of final touchdown. The three feet of Philae’s landing gear can be seen in some of the frames. Superimposed on […]