FEB 03, 2016 11:39 PM PST

Here's What Mankind Learned From Landing Probes on Comets

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


In 2014, mankind successfully landed its first spacecraft on a comet. A lander known as Philae was landed on comet 67P, and although the landing didn't go as smoothly as hoped, we still were able to gather a truckload of data to learn more about comets.

One of the things we learned are that the surfaces of comets are probably harder than originally thought. Rock solid ice was detected when scientists evaluated the noise from the bounce when Philae landed incorrectly on the comet.

Moreover, Philae detected many organic compounds on the comet, including acetone, propionaldehyde, methyl isocyanate, and formaldehyde. In its search for life, the lander even found water on 67P, but the chemical makeup of the water wasn't quite the same as here on Earth, so it helped us realize that comets probably weren't the bringers of life to Earth.

Other things we learned about are the presence of molecular oxygen on the comet, which was a big finding being that molecular oxygen has only been discovered twice outside of our solar system, and that comets may pre-date our own solar system.

Indeed comets are strange pieces of the universe, but their presence is something that needs much more investigation to fully understand.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
JUL 26, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Scientists Reveal the Biggest-Ever 3D Map of the Universe
JUL 26, 2020
Scientists Reveal the Biggest-Ever 3D Map of the Universe
After five years of research, an international team over 100 astrophysicists from around 30 institutions worldwide has r ...
SEP 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
SEP 10, 2020
Saving Myanmar's Critically Endangered Turtles
New images of hatchling Burmese roofed turtles have renewed hope to save this critically endangered species. Late last m ...
SEP 17, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
SEP 17, 2020
What the Sun's New Weather Cycle Means for Earth
Scientists have confirmed that the sun is nine months into a new solar cycle, and that this 11-year cycle will resemble ...
OCT 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Four Lakes Detected Under Martian Surface
OCT 01, 2020
Four Lakes Detected Under Martian Surface
  Researchers from Roma Tre University in Italy have confirmed the existence of four large lakes under the ice at M ...
OCT 22, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
OCT 22, 2020
NASA Looks to Nuclear Fusion for Powering Deep Space Missions
Nuclear fusion is the frontier of energy research, and NASA has a plan to bring this state-of-the-art power source to th ...
NOV 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
NOV 18, 2020
This Bat Species Uses Masks for Mating
From pandemic precautions to televised talent shows, masks are having a moment. Even this bizarre bat species has a buil ...
Loading Comments...