Philae reveals water ice on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Philae reveals water ice on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Philae’s second touchdown exposed water ice from the time of the comet’s formation 4.5 billion years ago. Philae’s top surface sank 25 cm into the ice on the side of a crevice. This event provided the first in situ measurement of the softness of the icy-dust interior of a boulder on a comet. According to ESA’s Laurence O’Rourke, “this ancient, billions-of-years-old, icy-dust mixture is extraordinarily soft – fluffier than froth on a cappuccino, or the foam found in a bubble bath or on top of waves at the seashore” On 12 November 2014, Rosetta’s Philae lander descended to the surface of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Credits:
ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA
“The Philae lander reveals low-strength primitive ice inside cometary boulders”
Laurence O’Rourke ,PhilipHeinisch, JürgenBlum, SoniaFornasier, GianricoFilacchione, Hong Van Hoang, Mauro Ciarniello, Andrea Raponi, Bastian Gundlach, Rafael Andrés Blasco, Björn Grieger, Karl-Heinz Glassmeier, Michael Küppers, Alessandra Rotundi, Olivier Groussin, Dominique Bockelée-Morvan, Hans-Ulrich Auster, Nilda Oklay, Gerhard Paar, Maria del Pilar Caballo Perucha, Gabor Kovacs, Laurent Jorda, Jean-Baptiste Vincent, Fabrizio Capaccioni, Nicolas Biver, Joel Wm. Parker, Cecilia Tubiana & Holger Sierks
Nature, DOI: s41586-020-2834-3