New photo reveals titanic cliffs on Rosetta's comet

Just when I thought I had enough of Rosetta's photos of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA has released this four-image mosaic that shows an incredible cliff more than one kilometer (0.62 miles) high. The image was taken from a distance of 20.1 kilometer on December 10. Here's another version, zoomed out. » 12/23/14 8:09pm 12/23/14 8:09pm

Philae Bouncing Off the Comet, Caught in Amazing Rosetta Images

Everyone's favorite underdog lander, Philae, was traveling at about 1.6 feet per second as she zoomed towards the formidable chunk of ice and rock known as 67P. That was slow enough that her mothership Rosetta was actually able to capture the descent in images released today by the ESA. » 11/17/14 10:31am 11/17/14 10:31am

Rosetta's Lander Is Now Asleep on the Comet, Waiting For a Brighter Sun

Goodnight, Philae, though not, we hope, goodbye. The lander is now in sleep mode, keeping "all instruments and most systems on board shut down." Thankfully, engineers managed to gather all the collected comet data before Philae's batteries were depleted. If we're lucky, it may wake up when it gets closer to the Sun. » 11/14/14 9:00pm 11/14/14 9:00pm

First comet drilling ever confirmed: 100% successful mission, says ESA

Against all odds, Philae has confirmed that the first ever drilling of a comet has happened! ESA has received telemetry data indicating that the drill worked. They also managed to send ALL data before going into sleep mode. What is Philae going to find? Perhaps the building blocks of life? UPDATE 5. » 11/14/14 6:51pm 11/14/14 6:51pm

A size comparison of the comet 67P with popular sci-fi spaceships

Christopher Becke, a high school physics teacher, made this outstanding size comparison showing what the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko would look like next to famous spacecrafts from science fiction. His images show the comet next to ships from Star Trek, Star Wars, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica. » 11/12/14 11:40pm 11/12/14 11:40pm

How 2010: The Year We Make Contact Nails the Drama of Space Exploration

All this landing on comets business has got me thinking about the next chapter of space exploration in a totally new way. You can have your Armageddons and Deep Impacts with their Aerosmith soundtracks and Morgan Freeman presidents. What happened today reminded me more of 2010: The Year We Make Contact. » 11/12/14 8:15pm 11/12/14 8:15pm

These Are the First Images Sent Back to Earth By Rosetta and Philae

This morning marks one of the most exciting moments in space exploration in years: Rosetta's lander, Philae, will touch down on the comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. It's still making its way down to the comet, but the little lander that could is already snapping photos and sending them home. » 11/12/14 9:38am 11/12/14 9:38am