The ESA Rosetta mission and the astrobiological significance of comets
- Event time: 1:30pm
- Event date: 2nd February 2016
- Speaker: Colin Snodgrass (The Open University)
- Location: CSEC Seminar Room, James Clerk Maxwell Building (JCMB) James Clerk Maxwell Building Peter Guthrie Tait Road Edinburgh EH9 3FD GB
The ESA Rosetta mission is currently exploring comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, in a 2.5-year mission that is changing our understanding of comets. The mission is the first to rendezvous with a comet, rather than performing a fast fly-by, and also sent a probe, Philae, that made the first landing on a comet nucleus.
I will briefly introduce the mission and the spacecraft, and summarise results so far. I will also describe how the Rosetta results fit into the bigger picture of comet science, how astronomical observations support the mission, and what the implications are for astrobiology. Finally, I will look at some of the new questions that Rosetta has raised, and ahead to what the next steps in comet science are.
The astrobiology seminar series is run by the UK Centre for Astrobiology based in the School of Physics & Astronomy. Astrobiology is a multi-disciplinary subject and the seminar series actively encourages attendance by undergraduates, postgraduates and academic staff from other departments..