Scientists record sound of Philae probe's historic landing on comet
Rosetta's lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. One of the lander's three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic. (ESA / Rosetta / Philae / CIVA)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, November 20, 2014 9:55AM EST
BERLIN -- Scientists have released a brief recording of the sound that Europe's space probe Philae made when it became the first to land on a comet last week.
The two-second recording features a short, sharp thud as the lander touched down about 311 million miles (500 million kilometres) from Earth on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's icy surface.
Martin Knapmeyer of the German Aerospace Center, DLR, said Thursday that sound was recorded by instruments in the lander's feet.
Scientists are carefully analyzing data collected during Philae's 60-hour operation on the comet, which already yielded evidence of plentiful frozen ice and organic molecules on 67P.
They hope to awaken the lander from its hibernation in the coming months, provided its solar panels generate enough energy as the comet nears the sun.