Showing posts with the label comets

Organics on a Comet, and Earth's Early Magnetism

Scientists found evidence that Earth's magnetic field is more than a half-billion years older than we'd thought. As usual, that raises more questions. The European Space Agency's Philae lander detected a "rich array" of organic compounds on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko 67P, including hydrogen cyanide (HCN). This is a big deal, since much of Earth's water came from comets: and HCN may have helped life begin on our world. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Pluto’s ‘Whale,’ Comet 67P’s Sinkholes

New Horizons is closer to Pluto than it was when I started writing this post, and should send back about 5,000 times as much data as Mariner did in its Mars flyby, 50 years ago. ( BBC News ) The ESA's Philae lander 'woke up' last month, but the big news from the Rosetta mission are Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's sinkholes: and the jets of gas and dust coming from at least some of them. More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

"Organic," "Wow!" — and Double Planets

A Rosetta mission team leader's British reserve snapped when Philae's data showed "a lot of peaks." There's carbon on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko: probably part of complex organic compounds, which doesn't mean there's life there. Researchers on this side of the Atlantic reported that double planets may be more common than we'd thought: a lot more more common.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

"Philae ... Headed for History"

A spacecraft landed on a comet, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, this week: an historic 'first.' Back on Earth, scientists at the ALMA radio telescope got the clearest picture yet of planets about to take shape.... ...I'm looking forward to what we'll learn from the Rosetta mission's lander and orbiter: how closely its water matches Earth's, and what other substances it carried from the Solar System's borderlands.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .

Harpooning the 'Rubber Duck' Comet; Public Safety — and Space Aliens

If all goes well, a robot spaceship will harpoon a comet next week. Meanwhile, science and daily routine go on in the International Space Station, nobody was hurt when an Antares cargo carrier exploded, and someone's done a survey about faith and space aliens...." ...Some comets and asteroids are shaped like potatoes. Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko looks like two potatoes and a bit of corn stalk: or a rubber duck.... More at A Catholic Citizen in America .