A new comet is currently making its inaugural trip to the inner Solar System from the Oort cloud where it likely originated. New images show a tremendous amount of dust streaming away from it, along with strange blobs that have attracted the attention of astronomers. »
The ESA’s attempt to land a probe on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko didn’t go as planned, but the mission has been far from a failure. A recent analysis of Philae’s harrowing journey across the comet has revealed some fascinating clues about its surface, while providing critical insights for future comet missions. »
Humans, dark and disturbed creatures that we are, love to imagine what would happen if a massive comet struck the Earth. But what if a giant ice rock flung itself into the Sun? A team of astronomers did the math to figure out what would happen. »
The Philae lander, the first probe to ever touch down on a comet, hasn’t made a peep in 11 days, prompting fears that it has shifted its position, and not for the better. »
Photographer Yuri Beletsky recently captured this stunning photo of comet C/2014 Q1 (Pan-Starrs) which is currently visible in the Southern Hemisphere. »
This past weekend, the Philae Lander awoke from its 211-day hibernation on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The dramatic receipt of signals from the probe triggered renewed activity among mission planners who are now trying to figure out what to do next. Here’s how things could unfold.
After months of searching, the European Space Agency says it may have finally caught a glimpse of the missing Philae Lander on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. »
Using the OSIRIS camera aboard the Rosetta spacecraft, ESA scientists have discovered a strange formation of what appears to be balancing boulders on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Last week, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft ended its 11-year mission by crashing into Mercury. Of course, Messenger was doomed anyway, but sometimes a mission’s entire point is to smash one thing into a bigger thing and watch the explosion. »
Astronomers have been at a loss to explain Mercury's excessively dark and unreflective surface. But a new study published in Nature Geoscience suggests the innermost planet was painted black by a steady stream of comet dust. The process took millions of years as comets disintegrated close to the sun, shedding carbon… »
For the first time ever, scientists have detected molecular nitrogen on a comet. The discovery is sheds light on the nature of the pre-Solar System environment in which Comet 67P/C-G formed. »
While sifting through images taken by the Rosetta spacecraft of Comet 67P, an amateur British astronomer has uncovered a previously unknown vertical cliff that looks like something right out of Mordor. »
For the first time ever, researchers have discovered comet dust (!) on the earth's surface. The extraterrestrial particles were found preserved in the ice and snow of Antarctica, which Science Magazine's Ilima Loomis reports could serve as "a promising new source of this material." »
Prior to going into hibernation mode, the Philae lander hurriedly conducted a number of experiments and sent its findings back to Earth. Preliminary analysis shows that the icy and dust-covered comet contains organic molecules. It's a cool discovery, no doubt, but one that shouldn't be exaggerated in terms of its… »
With a wasteland as their canvas, a Master and his Apprentice set about turning rubble into planets and moons, asteroids and comets, spinning them in orbit around a symbolic Sun. So begins Ambition, a short film made by Academy Award-nominated director Tomek Baginksi in collaboration with the European Space Agency. »
We may not have known what comets were until the late sixteenth century, but humans have been recording their impressions of these orbiting ice balls for thousands of years. Some of the most beautiful art ever made reveals how long comets have been inspiring our imaginations. »