Added 1 new A* page:Rosetta mission ends in comet collision
(BBC) describes the pre-planned end of the ESA's Rosetta
probe last week, after it had spent over two years orbiting and studying Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, despite the early loss of its Philae
robot lander in a dark ditch on the comet's rough surface. Rosetta
sent back close-up photos of the comiet during its slow final dive, and you can see those in the article.
Although the space mission has ended, scientists will be unpacking and studying the vast amount of data returned by Rosetta
during its highly successful mission for years to come, seeking to puzzle apart the comet's composition and inner workings; understanding 67P's structure could tell us not only how these solar voyagers form--Rosetta
found, for instance, that large parts of 67P were formed of piles of oblong ice balls several meters across
, dubbed "dinosaur eggs"--but, furthermore, how our solar system as a whole formed: as an example, Rosetta discovered large amounts of molecular oxygen gas (O2) around the comet
, which would seem to contradict "current solar system models" that "suggest the molecular oxygen should have disappeared by the time 67P was created, about 4.6 billion years ago in a violent and hot process that would have caused the oxygen to react with hydrogen and form water."