No, that’s not a giant’s boot standing on top of a city. This is Comet 67P. The comet everyone in the world has been talking about after robot Philae successfully landed on its surface in order to drill for samples. A first in history. The city the comet is being compared to in this rendering by graphic artist Matt Wang is none other than Los Angeles, the second largest city in America. And if you’re like me, you definitely underestimated the size of this thing.
Here’s the first photo released of Philae and the comet itself. Science selfies are the best selfies.
Originally discovered in 1969, Comet 67P is around 2.7 miles wide. Robot Philae was in space for a decade when finally European scientsts decided to engage the robot into a seven hour decent onto the comet’s surface just yesterday. In other words, this stuff is pretty cool. Unfortunately for Philae, not only did the robot land near a cliff on the comet, but also in its shadows making it harder for scientists to operate since Philae uses solar panels for energy. Now they’ll only have 1 1/2 hours of power instead of 6 to 7 as they had planned.
The $1.62 billion dollar project hopes to better understand comets and other “celestial objects”. That’s a lot of money just to understand comets, but hey, that’s European money so I hope they get a lot of bang for their buck.
There’s a pretty good list of answers most people have on this entire mission which you can view HERE. Of course when you’re done with that, make sure to take the celebrity butt quiz to counteract anything you’ve learned.
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source: USA Today