Rosetta "ambitious history" in making
Tonight in Broken Hill, NSW, Australia, we had clear skies and warm weather. We hosted our signature Milky Way Overview sky show with about six hours until the Philae landing. The Rosetta mission is fantastic and a tribute to the capabilities of humankind!
It took 10 years across six billion kilometres of space to chase down a comet and probably as long a time to create this fabulous computer graphic of the feat ... see here at http://sci.esa.int/where_is_rosetta/ and don’t leave your computer screen!
Be sure to click on the information button and move your screen around to get the full effects.
In our sky show tonight, we highlighted the position of the planet Mars to our guests as it was hanging out in Sagittarius. Somewhere, beyond Mars but before Jupiter, weaving its way through the Asteroid Belt, the comet lander was removed from its mother ship and dropping towards the comet.
This is the most amazing time for science and humanity. Did life on Earth evolve from organic matter brought in by comets?
Even more amazing, we are watching the computer graphics of an event expected to happen – “ambitious history” so the European Space Agency modestly says – hours before it happens. I hope all goes well, just a1.5 hours from now!
From Outback Australia, we can watch on the internet, at the thankfully uncongested broadband time after midnight, the livestream from the ESA operations centre in Germany.
Bravo ESA! Hope the sloppy or soft surface can let Philae catch on!
Photo... The surface where Philae will land (Photo from Demotix Live News/Demotix/Corbis)