http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-27110882 Latest report.
Fascinating stuff, and a bit of a headache for the mission! Which of the two do they attempt a landing on?
To quote the lander’s navigator, Eric Jurado:
navigation around such a body should not be much more complex than around a nucleus of irregular spherical type, but landing the Philae probe, however, could be more difficult, as this form restricts potential landing zones
Wow, what a revelation that was.
So as I understand it, there could be two possibilities. The comet at some point had split up OR two different comets have intertwined in orbit with each other.
I think the latter would be the most favourable result…although I am guessing the less probable. If it were two separate comets, than what a boost to further understanding our solar system that would be. Its very exciting.
I can see the problems for the mission but yes Tej is right how exciting. I would have thought the largest of the two targets would be their target as it’s gravity may bring the smaller with it as well. Any thoughts?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28351234. Latest article answers issue of whether 1 or 2 comets.
I’m on holiday, it’s sunny and I have a G&T in hand, so I probably shouldn’t try to ‘think’ and be clever, but…
If water survived on comets but didn’t survive on the newly-formed earth, then there must have been a distant ‘Goldilocks zone’ for water and the amino acids referred to in the Guardian piece. So how far out was this Goldilocks zone? And ‘when’ was it? And how quickly did this zone ‘shrink’ (for lack of a better word) to where it is now?
And is the Guardian making rather bold assumptions about what ‘scientists’ believe about comets and water, given the comments a while ago on this forum about underground water?
Well, as I mentioned in the previous thread, the “comet” theory for the presence of water on Earth makes me feel uneasy. I’m not at all convinced, and I don’t think there is enough evidence to back up the claim.
There is water throughout the solar system, even on the surface of Pluto, as far as we know. On Mercury, there are small deposits frozen in deep craters. Everywhere we look, there is water.
I find it difficult to believe that all of this came from comets. With hydrogen being the most common element and oxygen the most abundant of the “heavy” elements, water is a very abundant compound in the solar system – I understand that it is about 20-times more abundant than anything else (except for hydrogen and helium).
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28640787 latest update.
Live coverage of the rendezvous now: http://rosetta.esa.int
ESA – 20 member states, and they all have to give speeches…..
I wonder to what extent they managed to ‘future-proof’ Rosetta. I just realised that 67P is being orbited by the best technology we had available 10 years ago. I imagine there’s lots of software upgrade capability (at both ends) but would a quicker flightpath have allowed us to get there with higher tech sensors and other instruments? Would it have made much difference?
The close up image of the comet is amazing such clarity is very impressive. Interesting initial data. Something new learnt already. Comet found to be warmer than expected.
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