After more than a decade orbiting the solar system, on 6th August 2014, the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft reached its objective: the 7P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet, located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Rosetta, travelling at around 55,000 kilometres per hour with respect to the Sun, landed on the comet and remained orbiting it. On 12th November, the small Philae lander was deployed from the spacecraft onto the frozen surface of the comet, an unprecedented feat in the history of mankind. Comets are considered to be the primitive building blocks of the Solar System and it is thought that they have helped bring water to Earth and perhaps even the necessary conditions for the recipe of life. This exploration of this comet opens a window to reveal these secrets.
Agustín Sánchez Lavega, Professor of Physics at the University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU and director of the Planetary Sciences Group, will give a talk entitled ‘The Rosetta Space Mission: A window on the origin of the solar system’ on Wednesday, 28th January at 7pm. Zientziateka is a monthly initiative organised by the Chair of Scientific Culture of the UPV/EHU and AlhóndigaBilbao to raise awareness of current scientific matters.