You’d have had to be living under a rock for the last couple of weeks to not have heard about the European Space Agency’s Philae spacecraft which successfully landed on a comet recently. This was big news, as nothing like this has been achieved before, and the world may finally be able to unlock the mystery behind whether comets brought life to Earth billions of years ago.
Well, this week, it was revealed to BBC News that organic molecules have been detected by Philae on Comet 67P’s surface. As this article explains, the results are still being interpreted and the identity of the molecules are yet to be disclosed. Even so, this is intriguing, and will hopefully reveal new insights into what sorts of material comets are able to deliver to planets.
For the moment Philae is lying dormant, but as its solar panels are exposed to sunlight in the near future we will hopefully hear more about this comet and have some of science’s biggest and oldest questions answered.