| 10°C Belfast

Rosetta space mission landing on comet 'was high point of the year'

Close

Philae landed on the surface of the comet 67P in November (European Space Agency/PA Wire)

Philae landed on the surface of the comet 67P in November (European Space Agency/PA Wire)

Comet 67P/CG acquired by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera which is marked to show the location of the first touchdown point of the Philae lander, as scientists re-established communication with the Philae space probe, which has made history by landing on the comet. Pic European Space Agency/PA Wire

Comet 67P/CG acquired by Rosetta's OSIRIS narrow-angle camera which is marked to show the location of the first touchdown point of the Philae lander, as scientists re-established communication with the Philae space probe, which has made history by landing on the comet. Pic European Space Agency/PA Wire

PA

/

Philae landed on the surface of the comet 67P in November (European Space Agency/PA Wire)

The Rosetta space mission and its dramatic landing on a comet 300 million miles from Earth tops this year's list of breakthrough achievements selected by the prestigious American journal Science.

Marking the high point of the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission, the Philae probe bounced onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko last month.

Data from both the mothership orbiter and Philae are already starting to shed new light on the formation and evolution of comets.

Science news editor Tim Appenzeller said: "Philae's landing was an amazing feat and got the world's attention. But the whole Rosetta mission is the breakthrough. It's giving scientists a ringside seat as a comet warms up, breathes and evolves."

Rosetta has already detected water, methane and hydrogen in the gas surrounding the comet.

The journal also lists nine other 2014 breakthroughs such as details of the dinosaur to bird transition, indications that young blood can help older people, new software that gets robots to cooperate and the development of Beta Cellas that allow the study of diabetes.

Belfast Telegraph


Privacy