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The Big Picture: Scientists pick a landing site for their historic comet probe

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You're not just looking at an unassuming piece of rock -- if anything, it's a piece of history. That's Site J, the European Space Agency's long-awaited choice of landing spot for Philae, the first probe built to reach a comet's surface. Scientists chose the seemingly uneventful location because it should offer the best chances of studying the comet's nucleus and other material without worrying about impurities. It should also guarantee that Philae both stays in touch with its Rosetta mothership and maintains just enough power to get its job done. You'll likely have to wait until touchdown on November 11th to get a closer look, but this at least serves as a good preview.

[Image credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA]

Via: Space.com
Source: ESA
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