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Jonk

Images from Philae's onboard camera

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I though it would be a good idea for people to post image updates from Philae in a separate thread to yesterday's exciting thread on the separation, descent and landing.

Here's the first from ESA's website:

Welcome_to_a_comet_node_full_image_2.jpg

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It's a great image, but it's already been noted that the amount of shadow is worrying.  This is not where Philae is supposed to be, and the amount of shadow means it may have problems charging it's batteries due to the reduced expose of it's solar panels.  It's current location may also mean lower operating temperatures?

Edit:  The good news is it appears to be the right way up and stable!  :smiley:

Edited by Treeden

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Thats a great photo. It looks a rough, hard place to land though. I hope Philae has not been damaged much by its bumpy landing and can keep operating long enough to transmit some great data.

I understand that they are currently using the main spacecraft to try and locate the landers precise position.

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It shows how small the camera is, that's 2 panoramic photos stitched I think?

Better in a hole and communicating than floating away after a bounce of a "few hundred meters" !!

I hope they get their primary data from it, samples etc. before it slowly dies a dark painful death.

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Seems a very low lighting angle - Maybe things will be brighter later?

The "drinking straw" (lower right) is a distinctly odd-looking structure.

Unless that's a part of Philae... One of the "tent pegs" Harpoons?  :p

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The story so far - The European Space Agency's Philae lander performed not one, not two but three historic landings yesterday. That's according to data downloaded overnight from the spacecraft that confirms Philae bounced twice as it settled down on to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

ESA has just released Philae's first photo from the surface, later than expected due to landing complications. Readings from the probe suggest Philae initially touched down at 1533 GMT yesterday, with mission managers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, receiving the confirmation signal on Earth around half an hour later. But data from the probe's magnetometer shows Philae also landed at 1726 GMT and 1733 GMT, bouncing off the surface due to the comet's weak gravity, around 10,000th that of Earth's.

That initial bounce, almost 2 hours long, could have sent Philae flying as high as 1 kilometre above the comet's surface. It has also left the probe in a precarious position. Although Philae is now stable and sitting on the surface, a fault with its harpoons means it is not firmly attached to the comet. It may also be angled in a way that reduces the amount of sunlight that can reach its solar panels.

These problems mean ESA managers have ruled out today's planned drilling into the surface, as it could disrupt the probe since it doesn't have a proper anchor. But the data connection issues they were experiencing yesterday have now been solved, allowing them to grab images from the probe.

The just-released image is actually two pictures from Philae's CIVA camera. ESA has downloaded seven images, giving a full panorama, but these won't be released until later. From the image released now, it isn't yet clear if Philae is flat on the surface of 67P. "It could be angled, it could be on the ground," says ESA senior scientist Mark McCaughrean. "It will become more apparent over time."

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn26548-philae-has-landed--first-image-from-the-surface.html#.VGSWOTSM3Q

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CNES: first surface images are believed to have been taken at sunrise conditions, hence long shadows  :smiley:

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13/11/2014 12:05

Looks like there is more news coming out of France with a press briefing at CNES in Toulouse. According to Peter B. de Selding, a reporter for spacenews.com, Philae is a kilometre from where it first landed and is only getting 90 minutes of sunlight every 12 hours, making power conservation a priority. The solar panels may be damaged and two instruments are switched off, with only 50 to 55 hours of battery power remaining. Lucky for ESA, Philae landed from its bouncing adventures with antennas still pointing at Rosetta, otherwise they would have lost contact with the probe. But firing the harpoons again may be out of the question.

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13/11/2014 12:05

... Philae is a kilometre from where it first landed and is only getting 90 minutes of sunlight every 12 hours, making power conservation a priority. The solar panels may be damaged and two instruments are switched off, with only 50 to 55 hours of battery power remaining.... But firing the harpoons again may be out of the question.

They may end up hoping that Philae 'moves' (one way or another) to a new location, where it will receive more sunlight?  

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RE Is this a Harpoon cable or something else ?

Spooky that

I'm struggling to think what natural phenomenon could create such a regular structure out in space.

Maybe reinforced concrete came to Earth via comets!

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A fantastic achievement, Europe has certainly come a long way since the events of 100 years ago. It does appear that the lander is on its side looking at the pic above, not sure if this is indeed the case how much of the planned science can be undertaken. Still I'm blown away with the whole thing, considering the journey to get here and the number of things that could of gone wrong, this is simply remarkable. Anyone else keep humming "Ode to Joy" atm :)

Keith

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If that is the leg in the air and it is on the side, looks like an antennae?

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Certainly looks like a antennae to me. But the more images i see it does look like the probe might not be the right way up. But then in space there is no up!

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Looks like the broadcast is chopped at 60:00... finished or not. 

Got as far as the allusion to felines (philaes) landing on feets. :p

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I had the same problem and had to reload the feed to watch the end.

From what I gather, the lander is only on two feet, with the third up in the air (in its side)?

Three bounces and a few hours in space between the bounces, This lander looks like it got super lucky!

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Summery of press conference -

13/11/2014 14:14

Even if the battery on Philae runs out, it may not be dead. As comet 67P gets closer to the sun over the next few months, light could fall on its panels in a new way, giving it power again.

13/11/2014 14:12

Ulamec says he doesn't think the solar panels were damaged, they are just in shadow so not at full power.

13/11/2014 14:11

What about those pesky harpoons? "The harpoon mechanism has triggered, the touch down signal was acknowledged," says Ulamec. But the harpoons did not fire.

13/11/2014 14:10

They haven't ruled out the use of any instrument yet, says Bibring.

13/11/2014 14:09

Since gravity on 67P is so low, Philae may be able to wiggle its instruments to get in a better position.

3/11/2014 14:08

"We've got to trade off the risk we take doing something and the goal of the mission," says Bibring. They will start with less risky actions. But drilling is still core to the mission, so he is keen to do it in the next day or so. "The proper approach is to go step by step in the coming hours."

13/11/2014 14:07

Ulamec says they are hesitant to turn on anything mechanical, like Philae's drill. Since the spacecraft is not anchored, drilling could tip Philae over. "We have to look very carefully before activating it," he says. They are also hesitant to fire the harpoons again. "That could make us another jump and push us away from the surface."

13/11/2014 14:04

Did the instruments on Philae know the probe was bouncing? When it first touched down, the instruments started their first ground sequence. "These measurements could be used to learn we were not on ground, but jumping," says Ulamec.

13/11/2014 14:02

Should the design of Philae been different? "If we had known the comet, we may have thought of something else," says Ulamec.

13/11/2014 14:01

Philae could potentially get out of its sticky position. Ulamec says originally the lander was designed to hop by activating the landing gear. "But in the position we are now, a position we do not know, we would not dare to operate it."

13/11/2014 13:59

Sierks: "The rebound of the lander is an indication of a higher strength material, that was a surprise to us."

13/11/2014 13:57

Is the surface of the comet hard or soft? We don't know yet, says Bibring.

13/11/2014 13:55

Incredible emotions on stage today. I think they were all too stunned to show it yesterday.

13/11/2014 13:53

"What we have ahead of us is a fantastic mission," he says. "The scientists are enthusiastic now."

13/11/2014 13:53

Andrea Accomazzo, Rosetta flight director, has tears in his eyes as he congratulates the team.

13/11/2014 13:51

Sierks says they are still searching for Philae's final landing site. They hope to find it soon.

13/11/2014 13:38

Philae is currently living on battery power, and as we mentioned earlier can only partially recharge. "We are calculating now what this means for the near future," says Geurts. "This is not a situation we were hoping for."

13/11/2014 13:36

Koen Geurts on the lander team says they are looking at how to modify the plans for Philae given its unexpected position. "We are preparing the commands to be uploaded in the next few hours."

13/11/2014 13:29

We should get an image from CONSERT, the instrument on Philae and Rosetta that measures the interior of the comet with radio waves.

13/11/2014 13:28

Philae bounced at a speed of about 38 centimetres per second, says Stephan Ulamec.

https://newscientist.creatavist.com/rosetta#chapter-132425

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38cm a second? thats quite a bounce. Seems Philae was giving it some when so rudely intercepted by the giant mud-ball. I so hope they can right it, anchor it and get some light on those solar panels.

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Here's the top left part of the panorama overexposed to see how close the lander is to a rocky cliff face. How far away and how large it is is unknown, but they think it could be around 1km from the original landing site.

Philae foot overexposed

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38cm a second? thats quite a bounce. Seems Philae was giving it some when so rudely intercepted by the giant mud-ball. I so hope they can right it, anchor it and get some light on those solar panels.

Not really.   A slow walk is 1 m/sec and that is escape velocity for the comet.

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