Icelandic Astronomers Elated Over Comet Landing - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Astronomers Elated Over Comet Landing

Published November 12, 2014

Photos by
European Space Agency

Astronomers and astronomy buffs around the world celebrated the landing of Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, and Iceland was no exception.

Today, the comet probe Philae landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, completing the most difficult leg of a historic mission to observe, amongst other things, how comets react as they get closer to the Sun. Those with a mind for space celebrated the good news, including astronomy hobbyists in Iceland.

“I had a knot in my stomach for half an hour when it started,” Sæv­ar Helgi Braga­son, the chairperson of The Society of Astronomy and Stargazing, told MBL. “Then I felt a huge relief [when Philae landed], like when you win something at sports. Incredible relief and joy. I got a little choked up, and almost started crying, but didn’t on account of the people around me.”

Sævar said he has followed the project from its inception, and could hardly contain his excitement over the comet landing.

“It happened,” he said. “Everyone was delighted and people cried with joy at the space centre in Germany. Which is natural after a 20-year project has finally reached its high point, to become a reality.”

While scientists are waiting for the first pictures from the comet, you can follow the latest news of the landing at the European Space Agency’s website.


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