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Philae lander reveals stunning, unsettling perspective of comet

Nov 13th, 2014 pubblicato in In English. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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DARMSTADT, GERMANY — Philae might be in a tough spot, literally. After touching down on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a Rosetta mission’s drudge has been lucent behind distinguished though rather unsettling views of a comet.

Instead of being wholly in open space, a lander is flanked by what looks like a cliff. “We are not certain how distant we are from a cliff, though we are in a shade permanently, that might be a problem,” Jean-Pierre Bibring of a Université Paris Sud in Orsay, France, pronounced during a media lecture on Nov 13. The lander is also not sitting ideally on all 3 legs. It is roughly vertical, with dual feet on a belligerent and one in open space, Bibring said.

Being in a cliff’s shade means that a lander’s solar panels get reduction object than goal scientists had anticipated. The information advise that a lander gets usually 1.5 hours of object where it has landed, rather than a 6 to 7 hours it would have gotten if it had landed accurately on target, that it did — during first.

On a initial touchdown, Philae strike a bull’s-eye.. But a lander didn’t stop there. It bounced twice, touching down 3 times. In between a initial and second touchdown, a lander shot a kilometer adult into space and held roughly dual hours of atmosphere time before it strike 67P again, afterwards sprang another 20 meters in a air. The second rebound lasted 7 minutes. Together a bounces ecstatic Philae from a strange aim site, Agilkia, to somewhere on a other side of a outrageous void on comet 67P’s head. The group has not nonetheless pinpointed Philae’s accurate location.

The bouncing has left goal scientists scratching their heads about accurately what happened after a initial landing. If Philae’s harpoons had dismissed and a feet screws had bitten into 67P’s surface, a lander wouldn’t be in this ungainly position. But a rebound does have a certain spin. The exercices yield a vital square of information that scientists now miss in a characterization of comets: a comet’s aspect gravity, pronounced heavenly scientist Tony Farnham of a University of Maryland. The group can't nonetheless establish a accurate aspect sobriety of 67P, Bibring said, though combined that there was a good brew of excellent powder and harder, rocklike material. Philae is collecting information that will shortly yield some-more discernment into this geology and a aspect sobriety of a comet.

The categorical regard right now, Bibring said, is perplexing to stabilise Philae so it can use all of a instruments to try a comet. With Philae sitting on usually dual unanchored legs, regulating automatic instruments like a cavalcade SD2 could lift or lift on a lander and send it behind into space for another small bound or dual — not something a group wants to risk. However, Bibring pronounced a group is deliberation operative really delicately with some of a automatic instruments, like MUPUS, to try to wiggle Philae onto all 3 of a feet.

Philae has usually 60 hours of battery power, and with a unsafe position of a solar panels, a scientists are perplexing to squeeze in as most scholarship as they can as fast as possible. Decisions will be done shortly about when to use a cavalcade and other instruments that could impact Philae’s earthy position. These instruments are a ones that will directly representation 67P’s surface, a vicious component of a mission, Bibring said.

There’s a possibility that after a batteries run out, Philae could go into a protected mode and come to life again in a few months when a seasons change and a solar panels can get some-more sunlight. But that’s a lot of speculation, pronounced Philae plan manager Stephan Ulamec of a German Aerospace Center in Cologne.

Bibring was austere that notwithstanding a reduction than ideal conditions in that Philae now finds itself, a concentration should sojourn on a here and now, with a fact that a group landed a drudge on a comet, it’s alive and it has a ability to investigate 67P, however singular a time and ability might be.

If Philae doesn’t govern a full mission,  a square of a nonplus is lost, though not a whole thing, Farnham said.

Guarda tutta la categoria: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/philae-lander-reveals-stunning-unsettling-view-comet

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