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Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 9:10 AM

Today we will harpoon a great creature of the heavens. Today we try to harpoon a comet!

The ESA link for data from the source.

The JPL link for data from the American

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#1

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 10:04 AM

This is fascinating.

The whole thing... all of it.

Thanks redfred! I'll be checking the links often in the coming weeks.

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#2

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:28 AM

Sounds like they've just (few minutes ago) got touchdown without bouncing off.

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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:31 AM

Yes! They have harpooned a comet!

Did Etherville secede to Norway?

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#6
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:43 AM

Nah, we don't eat Lutefisk - the membership for Norway looked sorely lacking. I'm also sucking up to Santa .

Earlier today it was reported that one of the thrusters (for the harpoons) was not operating. Not sure if they managed to get it working or were just lucky. The ability of the thing to anchor was a major risk factor - "the surface could have had a texture ranging from cigarette ash to cat litter". Hittiing anything very solid could have sent it bouncing to oblivion.

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#3

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:29 AM

MT @esaoperations: Harpoons confirmed fired & reeled in. Flywheeel now be switched off.

@Philae2014 is on the surface of #67P #CometLanding

Looks good, so far!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#5

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:42 AM

Artistic renditions...

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#7

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:52 AM

Looks like a confirmed landing...

However, there may be an issue with the harpoons. They are still reviewing the data and may need to reactivate the harpoons.

Hope it gets sorted out.

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#8

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 11:55 AM

hmm, wish I had posted something on the topic in any case I'm glad THEY STUCK THE LANDING!

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 12:03 PM

Aw, go on......another thread on the topic folks. Worth reading, and it's also got stars !

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#10
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 12:06 PM

I feel vindicated.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 12:37 PM

More like syndicated .

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#12
In reply to #10

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 12:51 PM

I just wanted a headline about this for today.

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#13

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 1:36 PM

Now the real thing - and we thought they were balls of ice?

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 1:39 PM

almost looks like wind erosion........solar wind maybe?

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 3:55 PM

I'm guessing the erosion is from material ejecting and bouncing along the comet from getting close to the sun every 7 or so years...just a WAG.

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#16
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 4:00 PM

What? Not anthropogenic acid rain?

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#17
In reply to #14

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/12/2014 10:40 PM

Could be from the original explosion (Big Bang).

Wouldn't that be someting?

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#18
In reply to #17

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 8:55 AM

We're all from that, Mildred. It's the lack of intermediate processing since then that makes these nuggets into curiosities.

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#27
In reply to #18

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 12:17 PM

Yup, how did Carl Sagan put it again?

"We are made of star-stuff. We are the Universe, made manifest, trying to figure itself out."

Okay, I think that last part is from Babylon 5, or perhaps them paraphrasing Sagan.

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#20
In reply to #14

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 9:49 AM

Could be, could be.

Something else I remember is that the 'tail' is material being 'boiled off' from broximity to the Sun and 'pushed out' by the Solar Wind, so it may not be the Solar Wind Directly, but the 'atmosphere' the comet gains when it grows a tail.

Whatever the cause, this is fascinating and exciting. I feel like the American People must have felt when they got that letter from Louis and Clark:

"Finally made it to California. There's ANOTHER dang ocean on this side too! Wonder what's across it."

(Yeah, I'm paraphrasing, and going for comedy, but the sentiment is real. Deep down in the heart of every American there is that desire, that burning Need for a Frontier. We are the people who left Polite Society for the Great Unknown, the ones who tried to tame a New Savage Land (that already had a thriving civilization on it, but part of our cargo was the Emotional Baggage from the Old World, that Colonial Imperialism. It wasn't right, but we came from Imperialist cultures, and didn't know better back then) and in trying to tame the Wild, became half-Wild ourselves. This is who we are, part Restrained City-Dweller, part Wild Cowboy. To remove either part diminishes us as a Culture, as a People. Setting foot on a New Land, however small, or even through remote means, reminds us that there is still an 'out there' to explore, that we still have a Frontier to shape, a Frontier that will reshape us in turn.)

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#25
In reply to #20

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 11:55 AM

Some people call him 'Maurice.'

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#26
In reply to #25

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 12:13 PM

Hit the nail on the head, buddy.

I'm having trouble keeping my thoughts coherent here. I know they call that garbled gibberish that someone utters when they're too mad to speak 'Angrish,' I seem to be there, but on the opposite end of the spectrum. Guess my thoughts are breaking up into 'Joyglish.'

(Okay, I'm NEVER saying 'joyglish' again, the word just sounds naughty, even though the emotion behind it is clean.)

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#30
In reply to #26

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 12:33 PM

[cocks eyebrow] "Indeed."

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#19

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 9:42 AM

This comet looks little different from some of the asteroids that have been photographed. Is there any fundamental difference between an asteroid and a comet? Could a comet merely be an asteroid on a extremely eccentric orbit?

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 9:55 AM

The plume that forms as it gets close to the sun is a dead give away that you found a comet. A more precise definition can be found here.

This does mean that some asteroids might be identical in structural composition to a comet but only lack enough solar energy to generate a plume. Similarly it also implies that some of the highly elliptical asteroids found may have been at one time comets but now all of the volatile material has gone.

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#32
In reply to #21

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 3:14 PM

Which is what I am suggesting - comets and asteroids are the same thing, differing only in the shape of their orbits and how close they come to the sun at perihelion. As far as I know, no one has analyzed the surface of an asteroid in space, so they could be covered in volatile material. Once they have passed through earth's atmosphere however (as meteorites), any volatile material would be burned off, leaving the typical rocky or metallic lumps that we find. Just a thought.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 3:56 PM

Then again, ANYTHING will boil/sublimate away if it gets too close to the Sun. We've looked at meteors streaking though the sky with telescopes, and I'm sure SOMEONE had that 'spectrum chromatagraph' or whatever it's called, hooked up to analyse the light from a comet's 'streak.' That chromatagraph can determine the composition of stars from the light they give off, it should be able to do the same for the plasma surrounding/following a meteor as it makes the Most Painful High-Dive Belly-Flop Ever (And that's not counting hitting the ground at the bottom of the 'pool of atmosphere.'), if there were a similarity between meteor streaks and comet tails, we'd know by now.

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#34
In reply to #33

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 4:45 PM

Mama told me not to look into the eyes of the sun, but Mama, that's where the fun is!

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#22

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 10:37 AM

Call me Ishmael.

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#28
In reply to #22

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 12:21 PM

I'll see you in court.

Bill Haley.

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 12:31 PM

You guys planning to Rock Around the Clock..er..Sun?

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#23

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 11:05 AM

The jump appears to have carried it away from the best sunlight position and the battery is good only for 60 hours. They are considering another jump try with the harpoons and a drag arm they have on board.

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#24

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 11:47 AM

This is incredible! The comet is inhabited by humanoids! Check it out!

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#31

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/13/2014 2:13 PM

The comet composition has been found to be kitchen cleanser with bleach!

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#35

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/16/2014 10:41 AM

Putting it into perspective - a collision with a comet. This is a picture of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko in relation to the city of Los Angeles - strewth!

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#36
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/16/2014 12:29 PM

Damn! It looks like the city is holding up pretty well!

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#37
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/16/2014 1:36 PM

Must have made a very soft landing.

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#38
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/16/2014 2:43 PM

Or it is hollow and full of those Lexx carrot probes - yuck.

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#39
In reply to #37

Re: Comet Harpooning

11/19/2014 11:17 AM

hhmmmm......

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#40
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Re: Comet Harpooning

11/19/2014 11:49 AM

Yes, good point! So that's why the strata is vertical, which has always baffled geologists. Here's a much younger, fitter, windswept me on top of it in 1972, with the "Olgas" in the background.

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