Close look at a comet

The European Space Agency (ESA) has spent considerable time in the last year trying to understand comets – using 67P as the model.

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67P – photo credit ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

This comet was orbited by a satellite, Rosetta, for two years, taking spectacular pictures and communicating with scientists on Earth.  (See Twitter: @ESA_Rosetta)  Rosetta even carried a lander on board, Philae, which was dispatched to the surface of the comet in late 2014.  Philae did not land softly, and only communicated with Earth a few brief times.

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A picture of Philae, taken from Rosetta, after separating

 

On September 30, 2016, Rosetta’s mission was completed and the satellite was purposefully crashed into 67P, taking pictures the entire time.

You can see more about the complete mission here.

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