The true impact of ‘Pathways to Impact’

On January 13, 2015

The ESA’s Rosetta mission has achieved several firsts in the field of space exploration, but the one that has recently got people talking is the landing of the Philae probe on Comet 67A/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November. This is the first controlled touchdown on a comet nucleus, and it has captured public attention – even if […]

The search for our beginnings

On January 5, 2015

“Volcanologists go to volcanoes for their field work, but meteoriticists never go to asteroids!” Shogo Tachibana is an associate professor at Hokkaido University and one of the key scientists on the team behind Japan’s new Hayabusa2 mission. As he talked, he plucked from a shelf in his office a small grey rock embedded in a […]

Reflections on Rosetta

On November 19, 2014

“It’s all down to Isaac Newton now. It’s down to the laws of physics.” As the world waited to hear whether a refrigerator-sized probe had landed on a comet’s surface, European Space Agency senior science advisor Mark McCaughrean spoke to the live webfeed in Germany. “If Isaac’s friendly to us, we’ll have a great landing,” […]

I am not a smart man

On November 17, 2014

“I’m a physicist”… “Wow, you must be clever!” This is an interaction most physicists would admit to having at some point. Physics is difficult: everyone knows this. We take pride in it. Ours is the most difficult subject, the most worthy; we are the scientific elite. We are confident about our standing in academia. But […]