Rosetta Spacecraft, 6.4 Billion Kilometers Later

Back in 2004, the European Space Agency launched a spacecraft named Rosetta on a journey to study a distant comet. The comet referred to as “comet 67P” has an elliptical orbit around the Sun that takes 6 and half years to complete. In August of 2014, Rosetta finally reached its destination. Today the spacecraft is orbiting the comet and looking for a landing zone for its “Philae” lander which will take samples of the comet’s surface.

In recent years, Scientists have discovered the crucial role that comets play in the formation of planets and possibly even life. The arrival of Rosetta at comet 67P is a landmark accomplishment that has never before been achieved. ESA claims that it will decide on a landing spot in three days on September 15, 2014. Scientists are eager to begin exploring the surface of this comet as it may contain clues to the origin of life on Earth.

A journey that has spanned more than 6 billion kilometers since its start is now at the cusp of unveiling some of science’s most coveted secrets. I will be following the news on this expedition and updating you on any new discoveries that are made in the near future. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!

Sources
http://www.esa.int
http://www.nasa.gov

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NASA’s IRIS Captures Solar Eruption!

 

Check out this really interesting video. NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) was able to capture video footage of a solar eruption from our sun. According to the data that was received by IRIS, the eruption was about eight times taller and five times wider than the Earth while traveling at about one and a half million miles per hour! What’s more amazing is how the footage was captured. According to NASA, IRIS must focus on different areas of activity on the sun an entire day in advance in order to capture an event like this one. Needless to say this was not a simple task. The official term for the eruption is a coronal mass ejection (CME). Thanks to some sound scientific predictions, IRIS was able to capture its first ever footage of a CME in action. Enjoy the clip!