A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Some of you may be aware what is going to be attempted today. The European Space Agency’s ROSETTA probe has been in space for the last decade and is finally about to release a ‘lander’ called Philae to do just that on a Comet called 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko! What is remarkable is that the spacecraft had been in hibernation mode for about 30 months before it was successfully woken up this January and so far everything has gone according to plan. If the next 15 hours or so continue to pass smoothly, by Wednesday evening mankind will have accomplished the first ever comet-landing. Here is a picture of what this comet looks like from up close:
Comets have highly eccentric orbits i.e. don’t go around the Sun in near circles unlike the inner planets of our Solar System. Comets are also likely to have supplied the Earth and other places with water which is of course essential for life as we know it.
Leiden Observatory has organized a public event from 3 p.m tomorrow. This will be held at the old observatory in the city and if you’d like to attend then please sign up on here:
The event is free and also features a talk by a really famous Astronomer(Ewine van Dishoeck) and here is the schedule as a guide!
15:00 Doors Open
15:30 Talk by prof. Ewine van Dishoeck
16:00: Opening of Rosetta Exhibit
16:00: Video stream from ESA Mission Control Room from 16:00-19:30
16:10: Walk-in activities for children (Build your Rosetta and Your Own Comet)
17:00: Landing Event
19:00: Presentation of first images from the surface
19:30: End of Event
You can always of course keep up to date with the news on social media, but why not experience a space mission amongst space scientists 🙂