Here’s Where ESA’s Philae Will Make the First Ever Landing on a Comet

Site J
OSIRIS image of “Site J” on Comet 67P/CG from Sept. 14, 2014.. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

The long-awaited deployment of the Philae lander, currently “piggybacked” aboard ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft orbiting the nucleus of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, will occur in less than a month and we now have our best look yet at the area now green-lighted for touchdown. The picture above, made from two images acquired by Rosetta’s OSIRIS imaging instrument, shows a 500-meter circle centered on “Site J,” a spot on the comet’s “head” carefully chosen by mission scientists as the best place in which Philae should land, explore, and ultimately travel around the Sun for the rest of its days. And as of yesterday Oct. 15, it’s a GO!

Read the rest of this story here.

ALSO: Don’t like the name “Site J?” Have a better idea? You can help give it a real name! Enter ESA’s contest to #Name J here.

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