You may not have been following Philae’s Twitter feed for the last few months but you probably saw the news that the European Space Agency’s probe has landed on a comet designated 67P yesterday.
Touchdown! My new address: 67P! #CometLanding
— Philae Lander (@Philae2014) November 12, 2014
This is a tremendous achievement:
Space is immense and we are very small. What we think of as the world is a thin skin of cool surface above a hot, molten blob, all wrapped in an incredibly thin shell of atmosphere that keeps us alive.
And yet we built a machine that flew 30 light minutes away, launched a probe, and attached it to a chunk of debris that’s been bobbing around since the dawn of the solar system.
Here is a photo of the comet on approach, just before Philae landed on 67P. The comet is apparently shaped like a duck!
You can follow Philae’s progress on Twitter: