Comets have air?
Some readers may remember the space probe Philae, which was sent to land on Comet 67P. It malfunctioned and lost contact for a while, then re-established contact before finally shutting down for good. Thanks to photos by Europe's Rosetta spacecraft (of which Philae is the lander), we can now see what happened. According to AFP - in an article titled "Hello Earth! Can you see me? Rosetta spots crashed Philae in comet ditch" (The Japan Times, September 6, 2016) - we are told that upon landing, Philae bounced several times and finally stopped upside down:
The agency released a photo of the washing machine-sized robot lab on the comet's rough surface, one of its three legs thrust dramatically into the air . . . . "Philae is at the foot of a cliff in an extremely rocky zone" of the comet, Rosetta project chief Philippe Gaudon of France's CNES space agency told AFP, after examining the picture. It is now clear that after bouncing, Philae landed the wrong-way up, "with one foot well in the air and its antennas pointing . . . groundwards," he said. That is why communicating with Philae had been so difficult.Comets have air? Surely not! The article states this twice, but surely doesn't literally mean it. Unless comets have 'atmosphere' - and maybe they do! The photo above reveals that Comet 67P is a helluva rockin place!