New results from Philae Lander: Organic molecules found

 Philae's landing site on Comet P67.
Philae’s landing site on Comet P67.

The Philae Lander, the ESA ‘s spacecraft designed to land on a comet, just gave us some new results about what’s on a comet. After falling and tumbling down, the spacecraft was still functioning and analysed the soil on the comet. It found that the interior of the comet is pretty uniform, but the outside is heterogeneous, having rocky spots, and sandy spots.

Organic content

According to  an article published by science magazine, the comet had some organic content giving us clues as to how life could have formed, and to how common organic chemicals are in the solar system. They give us a glimpse as to what the early solar system was like, because comets stay pretty much intact, because there are no things such as water erosion, volcanic activity, etc.

The lander analysed the soil of the comet and found 16 organic compounds, like amino acids, the building blocs of protein. Of those 16, four were never found in a comet before.

Future discoveries

Unfortunately, the lander has fallen in a crater while landing, and does not get enough sunlight to power its batteries. It had just enough to test the materials and then faded away. The comet will soon pass close to the sun and the lander might wake again, but at least the information that Philae sent has been useful and was not in vain.

Rosetta's_Philae_touchdown

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