Scientists record thud of Philae's comet landing

This artist's impression shows the Rosetta orbiter at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The image is not to scale. Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

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 kilometers) 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 from its hibernation in the coming months, provided its solar panels generate enough energy as the nears the sun.

SESAME experiment CASSE records sound of first landing. Credit: ESA

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