space
What Was the Rosetta Mission?

After two years of science, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission ended yesterday in a gentle crash-landing. But if you haven’t been tracking this spacecraft’s movements as obsessively as we have, you might be wracking your brain this morning trying to remember what the Rosetta mission was. Read More >>

rosetta
All the Incredible Things We Learned From Our First Trip to a Comet

The historic Rosetta mission has finally come to an end. Over the past two years, the probe’s many instruments have scanned virtually every nook and cranny of this weirdly shaped rock, unleashing a treasure trove of new information about comets in general, and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in particular.When Halley’s Comet paid us a visit back in 1986, the European Space Agency’s Giotto spacecraft was sent to explore the incoming ball of ice and dirt. By the time the mission was over, it became glaringly obvious that if we were ever going to learn anything about comets, we’re going to have to get a bit closer. Like, a lot closer. Read More >>

space
We Now Know What Caused the Weird Erruptions Rosetta’s Comet

Last summer, something strange happened on Rosetta’s comet. After a period of calm, the comet began erupting, throwing huge jets of comet dust into space before abruptly stopping. Now, we finally know what happened. Read More >>

space
How the Rosetta Spacecraft Will Crash Onto Comet 67P

In just seven days, the Rosetta spacecraft will smash into Comet 67P. A new visualisation shows how it’ll go down. Read More >>

space
How Scientists Found the Tiny Philae Lander on a Giant Comet

In the shadow of a cliff on an icy rock 700 million kilometres from Earth, a washing machine-sized robot by the name of Philae has spent the last two years in hibernation. We’d already given up hope of speaking with humanity’s first and only comet lander ever again, and time was running out to catch a final, fleeting glimpse of the beloved craft. In the eleventh hour, science prevailed. Read More >>

space
What in the World Just Happened to Comet 67P?

February 19th, 2016 was going to be just another day on Comet 67P — until suddenly, the icy space rock lit up in a blaze of glory, as if suddenly slapped by an angry angel. Read More >>

space
Scientists Confirm: Comets Smell Like Cat Piss

Rotten eggs, cat urine, bitter almonds — that’s the delightful elixir of aromas comprising the BO of one comet 67P, also known as Rosetta’s comet. In a heartwarmingly nerdy yet mildly alarming development, members of the Rosetta mission team have commissioned scent firm The Aroma Company to turn it into a perfume. Read More >>

space
Ground Control Has Finally Given Up on the Philae Lander

So long, Philae: You were a plucky little lander, but it’s time to say goodbye. The ground control team working with the craft has announced that it’s finally giving up hope of hearing anything back from Comet 67P. Read More >>

space
We Finally Know What’s Inside Rosetta’s Comet

Scientists have long pondered what lies beneath the surface of comet 67P, but a study out in Nature this week has the answer: dust. Lots and lots of dust. I was hoping for space gremlins, but to planetary scientists this result is almost as exciting. Read More >>

image cache
There’s Something Very Strange in This New Image of Comet 67P

The Rosetta spacecraft has the best view of comet 67P, but astronomers right here on Earth are following the famous space rock’s trek across the solar system too. In the image above, they’ve spotted something very strange: The comet has two tails. Read More >>

space
The Last, Desperate Attempt to Contact the Philae Lander Has Probably Failed

Philae, the brave little comet lander that captured our hearts last year, has probably fallen silent for good. After a final, desperate effort to contact the spacecraft over the weekend didn’t pan out, the German Aerospace Agency (DLR) reports that the chances of ever speaking to the probe again are slim — and they’re growing slimmer every day. Read More >>

space
Researchers are Launching a Final, Desperate Effort to Contact Rosetta’s Dead Comet Lander

High above us, perched precariously on the cold surface of a comet, there sits one of the most technologically-advanced and singular machines humanity ever sent to hurtle up into space and stick its unlikely landing. And now that it’s there, it’s totally ignoring all our attempts to talk to it. Read More >>

space
Space Agency Forms Plans for Rosetta’s Dramatic Finale

Comet orbiter Rosetta has captured our hearts these past twelve months, but like all space probes before it, this one will eventually be put out to pasture. Of course, a productive scientific mission demands a dramatic finale, and so, when Rosetta runs out of fuel and funding next September, the European Space Agency will crash its prized probe into comet 67P....as gently as possible. Read More >>

space
There’s Primordial Oxygen Leaking From Rosetta’s Comet

Comet 67P is full of surprises, from complex organic molecules to miniature space weather systems. Now, in an astronomical first, scientists have discovered molecular oxygen in the space rock’s tenuous atmosphere. And it may be a relic from the birth of the Solar System. Read More >>

space
Scientists Discover Weather on Rosetta’s Comet

Earth’s favourite comet is chock full of surprises. The latest? Weather, of sorts. According to research published this week in Nature, Comet 67P has a small weather system driven by an intense day-night cycle. Read More >>