Academy Symposium

Rosetta’s Rendezvous: Welcome To A Comet!

24 February 2016 from 18:00 to 20:00 hrs
+31 20 551 0710
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Comet chaser Rosetta and its lander, Philae, have been hard at work this past year studying Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The Academy is organising a symposium reporting their first results.

 Philae's view of the cliffs at Abydos. One of the lander's three feet can be seen in the foreground. Credits: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

In late September 2014, after an impressive display of astrodynamics, the ESA’s ‘comet chaser’ Rosetta entered the orbit of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at a distance of about 30 kilometres from the comet’s nucleus. By that time, Rosetta had already spent more than ten years travelling around our solar system. The climax of its mission came in November of that year, when the small lander Philae successfully touched down on the surface of the ‘rubber duck’-shaped Comet 67P as it raced towards the Sun. 

The speakers at this mini-symposium will present a number of notable initial discoveries made by the instruments on board the Rosetta and the Philae.


  • Johan Bleeker, former director of SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research – Opening remarks and introduction
  • Fred Jansen, former Rosetta Mission Manager, European Space Agency – Rosetta: escorting and landing on a comet
  • Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor of Molecular Astrophysics, Leiden University – Where does the water in our oceans come from? New insights from Rosetta
  • Ian Wright, Professor of Planetary Science, The Open University, UK – Cometary molecules: The scratch ‘n’ sniff at 67P
  • Valérie Ciarletti, Professor, Laboratoire Atmostphères, Milieux, Observations spatiales (LATMOS), Université de Versailles – Comet 67P - What lies beneath the surface?