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Old 14-06-15, 18:05   #1
 
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Breaking News VIDEOs/PhOtOs -Comet Philae Wakes Up From Hiberation

Hello Earth, Can You Hear Me? Comet Lander Philae Wakes Up From 7-Month Hibernation,
> says European Space Agency


  • European Space Agency revealed probe communicated for two minutes
  • Philae landed on comet 67P on 12 November but bounced twice
  • Scientists have been trying to locate it ever since it went into hibernation
Daily Mail UK, 14 June 2015

The comet lander Philae has awakened from a seven-month hibernation and communicated with Earth for more than a minute, scientists have revealed.

The probe became the first spacecraft to land on a comet when it touched down on the icy surface of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in November last year.
It went into hibernation 60 hours after the historic landing when its batteries depleted, after sending images to Earth.




Awake: News that the Philae Lander has woken up after seven months in hibernation was revealed by scientists from the Philae lander's Twitter account


The 'ice harpoons' on the European Space Agency's Philae probe failed to fire into the ground, causing it to bounce twice above the surface before coming to rest.

Since then, scientists have been trying to find the probe through a variety of methods.
The German Aerospace Center, which operates Philae, said that the probe resumed communication at 20.28 pm on Saturday, sending about 300 packages of data to Earth via its mother ship Rosetta, which is orbiting the comet.

'Philae is doing very well,' project manager Stephan Ulamec said.





Waking up: An artists impression of Rosettas lander Philae which has woken up after months in hibernation











Stirring: European Space Agency scientists use its official Twitter page to reveal contact has been restored





Awake: The European Space Agency has revealed Philae has made contact for the first time in seven months




Quote:
ROSETTA: THE STORY SO FAR

The Rosetta probe, which was carrying Philae, launched into space in 2004, using the gravity of Earth and Mars to slingshot its way towards comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

It chased the comet through space for more than ten years, entering orbit in August 2014.

After a four-billion-mile (6.4 billion km) journey, the probe then successfully released the Philae lander from its grip to land on the comet on 12 November 2014, travelling at 3.3ft (one metre) a second relative to the comet.

But when it first made contact with the surface it failed to fire harpoons that would have kept it attached to the comet.
This resulted in it bouncing to a height of 0.62 miles (1km) above the comet before again landing on the surface. It then bounced again, but to a much lower altitude.

Philae managed to perform more than 90 per cent of its goals before running out of power. Rosetta, meanwhile, is continuing to orbit and study the comet.

From data collected by the two probes, Esa said that water on the comet was different to that on Earth - suggesting water on our world came from an asteroid, not a comet.

Scientists hope to begin receive more than 8,000 data packages still stored in Philae's memory. Crucially, the data may offer important clues about the probe's exact location which has so far been a mystery.

Its next mission might be to drill into the comet to examine its chemical make-up. Although they will be hoping they're not in for another seven-month wait while Philae beds down for a snooze.
The news was revealed to the world in a tweet by ESA's, which read: 'Incredible news! My lander Philae is awake!'


The comet's official account tweeted: 'Hello Earth, Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae', in its first message since last November.

It has since been inundated with well-wishes from enthusiasts across the globe.


Communicating with ESA Rosetta, which tells it to 'take it easy for now', Philae jokingly responds 'Oh, OK, I'm still a bit tired anyway… talk to you later! Back to #lifeonacomet!'


Mr Ulamec said the probe appears to have been awake for some time before it called home, because some of the packages received contained historical data.

Philae has more than 8,000 data packages still stored in its memory, which scientists hope to receive when the probe next communicates with Earth. The data contained therein may help them determine where exactly Philae has landed.

The probe's exact location has been a mystery, though scientists have narrowed down its likely location based on images and other measurements received from Philae and Rosetta.

'We received new signals from (Philae) for a period of two minutes, as well as 40 seconds' worth of data,' Jean-Yves Le Gall, president of the National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), said.

Scientists working on the project are delighted after they spent months trying to track it down. They have also been using radio signals sent between Philae and Rosetta as part of the Consert (Comet Nucleus Sounding Experiment by Radiowave Transmission) experiment to locate its position on the comet, which remains uncertain.

This enabled scientists to create an ellipse about 52 by 525ft (16 by 160 metres) in size where they expected the lander to be.

Investigating an area nearby, the science team found a candidate that can be seen in images taken by Rosetta on 12 and 13 December 2014, a month after the landing.

But, crucially, the bright object does not appear in an image taken on 22 October - three weeks before the landing.
The former images were taken from a distance of five miles (8km) above the surface, and the latter images were 11 miles (18km).


Philae search! Zooming in on promising candidate on Rosetta:








Taking an image on both 12 and 13 December ruled out the possibility that this was simply a naturally occurring phenomenon such as a glint of sunlight on a rock spotted by Rosetta.


Philippe Lamy, a member of Rosetta's Osiris team at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, said it was 'a good candidate for the lander'

He added: 'This bright spot is visible on two different images taken in December 2014, clearly indicating that it is a real feature on the surface of the comet, not a detector artefact or moving foreground dust speck.'

Finding the lander has important scientific
implications, most notably for the Consert experiment.
This uses signals sent between Philae and Rosetta through the comet to map the interior of the structure, but without knowing Philae's position the measurements are less precise.

'Accurately locating the lander is of great scientific value, in particular for the joint orbiter and lander Consert experiment to get the best assessment of the interior structure of the comet nucleus,' said Matt Taylor, Esa's Rosetta project scientist.





This is one of the first images returned by Philae from the surface of the comet. At the moment, the lander is lying dormant on the surface of comet 67P. Repeated attempts were made to wake it up, and scientists will now try to confirm its location on the comet





Investigating the region, the science team found a candidate that can be seen in images taken by Rosetta on 12 and 13 December 2014, a month after the landing. But, crucially, the bright object does not appear in an image taken on 22 October - three weeks before the landing






Philippe Lamy, a member of Rosetta's Osiris team at the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, said the latest images were 'a good candidate for the lander.' The ellipse is seen here on the comet, partly in shade. Philae is known to be partly in shade based on the images it returned





This image shows the five candidates for Philae on the comet, based on images taken in December 2014. All but the top left candidate, which is the new image released by Esa, have now been ruled out for a variety of reasons such as being in the wrong location or simply being a trick of the light






Rosetta (artist's impression shown) is continuing to orbit the comet but will not be able to get better images of Philae until it flies closer. However, Esa is reticent to do so, as last time they did the spacecraft became disoriented and temporarily lost contact with Earth owing to an increased amount of dust


Comet 67 is currently 134 million miles from the Sun and 305 million kilometres from Earth, racing at 31.24 kilometres a second, according to ESA's website.
Rosetta and Philae have travelled an accumulated distance of 6.9 billion kilometres, it said.

By August 13 the comet will reach its closest point to the Sun, or perihelion, before veering off again into the deeper reaches of space.


Comet Philae Wakes Up




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