Credit: Bob King

Stand In Awe Before Dawn’s Early Light

What sort of things make for jaw-dropping sky sights? You might answer a total eclipse of the sun or a raging, all-sky aurora. The other morning just before the start of dawn, I stood in awe before a phenomenon consisting of practically nothing at all. A great cone of luminous haze called the zodiacal light…
Read More

Copyright: ESA/Rosetta

Rosetta Bites The Comet Dust / Aurora V3.0

At 5:19 a.m. Central time this morning, the fabulously successful Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/C-G came to an end. At that time, European mission control heard the last signal from the spacecraft before it crashed down on the comet’s surface. Now settled in for a long, long nap — one that will last an eternity…
Read More

Artist's view of the Rosetta spacecraft settling to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko tomorrow morning when the mission ends. Credit: European Space Agency (ESA)

Rosetta Begins Free Fall To Comet 67P Today, Crash Lands Friday

The end is near! The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is set to complete its historic mission in a controlled descent to the surface of Comet 67P early tomorrow morning September 30. Touchdown, or more like crunch-down, should happen within 20 minutes either side of 5:40 a.m. Central Daylight Time (10:40 a.m. Greenwich Time). Because Rosetta and…
Read More

Credit: ESA/Rosetta

Meet Kenneth And Juliette, The Comet Carbon Duo

Most of us really don’t care for dust. It’s something to blow off, swipe away with your hand or vacuum up. But dust is where it’s at when it comes to Rosetta’s Comet. By studying what’s in the tiny particles that vaporize off the comet, scientists have made a marvelous discovery. Two particles, playfully named…
Read More


Philae Found In Final Hour! Comet Probe Slumbers In Boulder’s Shadow

We found our comet lander! Tipped over on its side and looking forlorn but still intact, Philae was discovered wedged into a dark crack on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko this weekend, less than a month before the end of the Rosetta mission. The images were taken on Sept. 2 by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera as the orbiter came…
Read More