Search This Blog

Monday, November 17, 2014

Rosetta, the comet chaser


 

During the past 10 years European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft was on a journey of 6.4 billion KM from the Earth bound for comet 67P, which hurtles away at 15KM per second and is situated 500 million miles from earth. The project was the first of its kind to reach its destination. It was launched on board a rocket. It had solar cells to provide electric power, its ‘orbiter’ carried 15 experiments and the ‘lander’ probes called Philae carried drills to sample beneath the comet’s surface. On th 12th November 2014 Rosetta landed on Comet 67P which hurtles at 15 KM per sec. The craft got its name from the Rosetta stone of ancient Egyptians, which had hieroglyphics, carved on it revealing the history of Pharaohs. The present Rosetta hopes to discover the secrets of the solar system including the origin of planet Earth. Scientists celebrate this landing on one star while other stars watch us. Switzerland made the space watch capable of spanning 10 years.                                                               
                    

Comet 67P chosen for landing Rosetta

 

Rosetta with its landing gear

Rosetta bounced twice before settling down and stabilized finally, I KM from expected site of landing and settled at the edge of a crater unfortunately, a place where it will not receive direct sunlight to charge its solar cells.  Rosetta sent a tweet, ‘I’ll tell you more about my new home, comet 67P soon.’ A lot of data has now come from it but the cells need charging and it said in another tweet, ‘I am very sleepy’.

Sleep well little probe!

What scientists learn from Rosetta will rewrite textbooks.

·        Origin of man’s space program goes back to 1st Oct 1957 when Soviet Russia launched the first satellite Sputnik into outer space.           

·        Americans felt humiliated but they reached the moon, 384000 KM from earth with Apollo 14 on 20th July 1069 when Neil Armstrong walked the moon.

·        Few years later on 20- 07- 1976 the American probe Viking 1 travelled 100 million KM landing on Mars, the red planet.

·        In 2005 the European probe Pagine, went 10 times as far, more than 1.3 billion KM to Saturn’s moon Titan.

And now to crown it all Rosetta is safely landed on Comet67P in November 2014 and once it faces the sun again its solar cells will recharge and send us valuable information even of the origins of life, so the scientists think.

                       *******************************

Put together by ZitaPereraSubasinghe from programmes on Euro News and BBC Radio website Ref: What is a comet

http://rosetta.jpl.nasa.gov/science/comet-primer/what-comet                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

26 comments:

  1. Well done Zita! It is good to see non-medical scientific stuff as well. This was such an amazing achievement. I can't still get my head round the fact that Man is capable of sending a "washing machine" a distance of 6.4 Billion KM travelling for 10 years and landing on a bit of matter which is approximately 2.5miles x 2.5 miles! And not only that ,the spacecraft entered deep-space hibernation mode in June 2011, and 'woke up' on 20 January 2014! An Ant's life span is about 90 days and if Ants are reborn as Ants, each ant would have lived through 40 births during Rosetta's travels! I am not sure whether ants can acquire good merit and ascend up the ladder! I have managed to live 70 years so far while my planet has lasted 4.54 billion years. If I am to reach the Sun (I am sure you agree this is very unlikey!), I would have to travel 149M Km whereas I went to work every day travelling 4.5 Km! Spooky! All this is so spooky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mahendra, you have travelled approximately 100,000 KM going to work for 30 years. On a human scale this is an achievement!
      Thanks for a interesting and fact-full comment!
      Zita

      Delete
  2. Thankyou Zita -Fascinating And refreshing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Had the privilege of listening to a series of lectures by one of the NASA engineer cum astronomers Norman Caisse a few months ago who also spoke
    about their future projects- It is all mind-boggling!
    Good to be updated - thanks Zita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rohini! And now they say Rosetta found carbon on the comet. And that seems to be significant regarding life on earth.
      Zita

      Delete
  4. Zita
    Thank you. When there is so much bad news around with wars and epidemics it is lovely to hear of success.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, ND! I totally agree about the need for good news.
      Zita

      Delete
  5. Zita
    You have done much to revive the fortunes of this Blog by your timely comments. Your music has evoked great nostalgia for times past. We await eagerly for the next hit.
    Thank you
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so kind of you ND. Thanks! You and others have provided much education and entertainment and good reading too. I am very proud of you all!
      Zita

      Delete
  6. Zita ,Thankyou for the above update .
    Being a recent visitor to the blog I seem to have missed the treat that ND is referring to- How far back was this?I may be able to access it sometime-- I shall wait for the next hit too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Rohini: Zita is a great musician. We never knew this special talent in the batch. Zita's interpretation of the Nocturne in E Flat Opus 9 No 2 by Chopin is a masterpiece and you can hear this on Youtube. We are all touched by your modesty.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
  8. ND - thanks for the above info- I have a day off today and shall listen to Zita's rendition of the above nocturne later in the day- I still listen to a very old but very good recording by Deutsche Grammophon of the Chopin Nocturnes played by Daniel Barenboim though there are many newer recordings. My son who also plays and enjoys classical music has presented me with a record player to play our old vinyls as that seems to be the current trend- Believe me the sound is much better - less harsh than the CDs - more like listening in live concerts if you have a good sound system.Thanks ND

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rohini
    Enjoy Chopin. I too love the piano music played by Barenboim. He is now a fine conductor and a peace maker in the middle east with his Jewish-Palestinian orchestra. I have come to like the piano music of Debussy and Faure for its fine magical quality that can soothe the spirit. At this time of my life classical music provides the peace I need. It makes me leave behind the hustle and bustle of normal life.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ND - Thanks for the above comment- From what you have said could I hazard a bold guess that you also like Monet's paintings? You might say "fools rush in where angels fear to tread!" but I thought I'll dare!
      I also have my own favourite bits of most composers- one such being the Andante of the violin concerto in E minor Op 64 by Mendelssohn.
      I don't know whether you like violins but if you have the patience to get through the 1st movement the 2nd is so beautiful - you probably have heard it many times over - I also listened and watched Zita on U tube shall make a comment. I would love you to share your favorites with me too - Regards

      Delete
    2. Hi, guys! It's great to know that so many of our batch-mates appreciate classical music. I so fear that in the future it may be pushed to the background. May I tell you what I like to hear? Meditation by Massenet from Thais.
      Zita

      Delete
    3. Zita, this is a beautiful piece - thanks for reminding us of it .

      Delete
  10. Zita- I enjoyed watching and listening to you on You tube- It appeared your span might be more than 1 octave - if so you must be able to play Chopin's Military Polonaise with ease. Do you? Look forward to more!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rohini
    I do love the violin music of Mendelssohn and his concertos. The violin has a certain high pitch which limits the time I can listen to it. Hence my love for the chamber music when the shrill violin is mellowed by the viola, piano and the cello. If I may recommend a favourite it is the Beethoven violin sonata No.5 Opus 24 also called the Spring Sonata. It is magical. You can here it on Youtube played by Anne Sophie Mutter. Enjoy.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
  12. Rohini
    I meant you can hear (not here, as i said before) it on youtube and appreciate its magical quality.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou ND - I didn't even notice the error!
      I listened to the Beethoven Sonata you suggested and am haunted by it - I can't remember having listened to it before -it is beautiful - thanks for sharing it with me .I also have to thank you for directing me to You tube to listen to music - I don't spend much time on computers - So hadn't accessed You Tube much-NewZealand is too beautiful to sit at computers as I know the English countryside is! I did'nt realize till you asked me to listen on You tube that just about every piece of music played by so many different people could be heard and seen on You tube! Many thanks.

      Delete
  13. Listened to it being played by Oistrakh/ Oborin as well - liked it even better than Anne Sophie Mutter- thanks ND

    ReplyDelete
  14. Rohini:
    I am sorry I didn't comment on your reference to Monet. Infact I do like his style having seen much of his work in the London galleries. Claude Monet brought the French countryside to life.
    On the topic of music for the violin Max Bruch's Violin Concerto No 1 is one of my special favourites - played by Sarah Chang. Youtube is wonderful.
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thankyou ND -Iam glad my guess was right re Monet!
      Thanks also re the Bruch violin concerto- I must admit it is not one of my favorites though it is very good - I had the privilege of hearing this played by Itzhak Perlman live at the Lincoln Centre in NY a few years ago .He did a few improvisations as well which we really enjoyed and was a very good concert .Whenever we visit my daughter who works in NY she very generously shouts us the best of concerts available at that time in spite of our protests! I shall listen to Sarah Chang play it sometime in the next few days when my full work days are over. many thanks ND.

      Delete
  15. Rohini
    Like myself you are fortunate to have the support of your progeny for the arts and the classics. Both my sons are keen musicians playing the clarinet, cello and piano and we go off together to enjoy what's on offer in London and Birmingham. In my retirement I consider this a gift from the Gods. Itzhak Perlman despite his handicap is such a remarkable musician. I have had the good fortune to see him at the Symphony Hall in Birmingham.
    Enjoy your music
    ND

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ND I agree It is lovely when you can enjoy these things together with your children - my son and daughter have both done their performer's cert in piano with the Trinity College of London and play the violin and cello respectively .It is indeed a gift from the Gods when these "'sped arrows"return now and then and make you "fly" with them just a little further than you are each time !

      Delete
  16. Rohini: Living in England I am greatly influenced by the public affection for their own composer Elgar. His Cello and Violin Concertos are very popular but what I like most of all is his "Salut d'amore" for violin and piano. He lived in Worcestershire and his music was greatly influenced by the peace and serenity of the Malvern Hills. I like the version played on the Cello by Julian Lloyd-Webber. A lovely piece to listen to by a warm fire on a winters night with a glass of wine.
    ND

    ReplyDelete