Thank you Sun - Philae awakens
The European Space Agency #ESA has been waiting to hear from Philae since March 2015.
Finally, the tweet all were waiting for arrives, “hello Earth”.
Our Sun is such a marvellous source of light and energy. Life on Earth is dependent upon it.
Now, we know technology on a distant comet needs sunlight too. It’s more than 210 million kilometres away in the constellation Aries (at time of writing). Another way to consider this distance of Philae atop Comet 67P is in the time dimension, or nearly 17 light-minutes.
Comet 67P is relatively small – just 4.5 kilometres across. Not visible to the naked eye as it goes around the Sun once every 6.5 years.
What is so special about this entire event?
From the perspective of far-away Australian desert-dwelling Outback Astronomy people, in Broken Hill, it's special because it is yet another milestone in the measure of humanity’s adventurous toe-dipping in space.
Far away from the cheering and fist-pumping of people at the operations centre in Germany, we sit back and quietly absorb these stupendous moments as they occur.
Feats like Philae are incredible given the distance and tiny dimensions that are involved. Also, consider the fact humans have ever only been to the moon before this! The last time was in the 1970s when no one trusted people with large side-burns and big, fuzzy hair!
Outback Astronomy delivers sky shows under the clear outback skies, we bring more people to the table to feast upon “space understanding” and “learning through exploration”. We recount amazing information about real things in space. The clear, dark sky and the vast open space of Broken Hill sets the mood for a great experience.
In our own little way, we celebrate great human endeavours in space.
The news on the lander’s awakening can be found here: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Rosetta/Rosetta_s_lander_Philae_wakes_up_from_hibernation