While Philae is descending onto Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, let’s have another look at the landing site formerly known as ‘Site J’. The site was recently named ‘Agilkia’, after the island on the Nile river in the south of Egypt where the Temple of Isis, previously on Philae island, is now hosted. The temple was moved, along with many other magnificent monuments from the Nubian archaeological area, as part of the international campaign launched by UNESCO between 1960 and 1980 to rescue them from the rising waters of the Nile.
Later today, Philae – the lander – is going to be relocated to a different Agilkia – the landing site on the comet. We’ll be hearing the name Agilkia quite often, and many are wondering about its pronunciation.
So we asked some people at ESA’s Space Operations Control Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, how they think Philae’s new home on the comet should be pronounced.
It looks like everyone figured out their own way to pronounce this name! Like Philae, also Agilkia is a name of Greek origin, so we asked our Greek expert, and in Greek it is pronounced with a ‘hard g’ (as in ‘GO’ – another popular word today!)