his image depicts the first ever landing of a probe on the surface of a comet. The lander, called
Philae, is part of the European mission Rosetta, which was finally launched on 2 March 2004. In
early 2014, having spent ten years in space and having travelled an incredible 4 billion miles, the
Rosetta orbiter will encircle the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and dispatch Philae down to the
comet's surface to take readings and analyse samples. Nobody is really sure what the surface will
look like, so the above is only an interpretation. Jets of dirty particles spew from cracks in the
surface – these are what make the comet's tail.