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Philae creates eye of the skull

Philae creates eye of the skull


Date: 28 October 2020
Satellite: Rosetta
Depicts: Philae at touchdown site two
Copyright: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA; O'Rourke et al. (2020)

Rosetta's Philae lander touched down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014 and made multiple contacts with the surface before arriving at its final resting place. The comet topography at Philae's second touchdown site resembles the shape of a skull with a pointed 'hat' when viewed from above. This gif shows the feature that resembles a skull face, with Philae superimposed for scale (Philae's 'body' measures about 1 m across, and each leg is 1.5 m long). Philae's body compressed into the ice-dust scenery to create the skull's right eye. The dark region just above the skull's right eye is the entrance to a gap between the two boulders nicknamed 'skull-top crevice', where Philae acted like a windmill to pass between them.

See also: Philae's dance at touchdown two and Where is the skull animations for additional context.

Last Update: 28 October 2020
2-Dec-2020 04:16 UT

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