Year-end break


Rosetta and Philae’s holiday card. Click through to download full-sized version. Credit: ESA

A short note from the blog team here at ESA: after an amazing but exhausting year, we’re going to take a year-end break between Monday, 22 December 2014 and Monday, 5 January 2015. Over this fortnight, we do not expect to receive any new information from the Rosetta scientists or mission teams, and so do not foresee any new routine posts, including NAVCAM images.

The only exception might be if Philae is located in images taken by Rosetta in recent days and, in that case, we’d aim to bring you the news as soon as possible.

In addition, due to the time required to review and moderate comments, we’re going to disable the commenting function on all posts/pages over this period; existing comments will remain, but no new comments can be submitted and added during the break. This will be re-enabled on 5 January.

It has been a huge pleasure running this blog in 2014! From the anticipation of the 20 January wake-up to the 6 August rendezvous and then the 12 November landing, it has been a real roller-coaster ride for everyone involved here at ESA and in all the Rosetta teams.

And we’ve had a fantastic experience watching this passionate outside community grow and we would like to pass on our thanks to the hundreds (or has it been thousands?) of people from all around the world who have taken time to follow along, to contribute, and to share their enthusiasm for the Rosetta mission.

We have appreciated all the queries, comments, replies, opinions, counter-opinions and, indeed, multiple arguments that have been posted. We hope that we’ve done an acceptable job of allowing the myriad of valid opinions and heartfelt viewpoints – even the ones we (or others) disagreed with – while wielding a deft touch in disallowing the comments and posts that were beyond the pale.

Thank you for your support, passion and genuine enthusiasm for the Rosetta mission in 2014. You have all helped make the mission a worldwide phenomenon.

We look forward to having you back ‘on the blog’ in the New Year. After all, as Comet 67P/C-G moves in towards its closest point to the Sun in August, we’re promised a grandstand view of the fireworks from Rosetta, and there should be plenty to share and discuss. In many ways, the mission has just begun!

Best wishes for a joyful year-end holiday and a happy and healthy 2015.

– Rosetta blog team



  • Bill Harris says:

    Y’all need a well-deserved break. The Blog Team (as well as the entire Rosetta Team) have been as Busy as a One-Armed Paper-Hanger the past few months.

    Have a Great Holiday, and we’ll see you After The First…


  • Erwin says:

    Well-deserved break for you guys! Thanks a lot for this high-quality blog posts. Enjoy the holidays!

  • Hey, Philae!!!! Spoil them new year break and show up ;-))

  • Jason Rowberg says:

    Yes, thank you all so much for keeping us in the loop! Enjoy your break and have a great Christmas!

  • Birgit Hofmann says:

    Yes , merry christmas and happy new year,
    for the rosetta-team !!!

  • @frauxirah says:

    Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all the people working on the Rosetta mission, and thank you for making space and science interesting and accessible for more people.

    The season’s greetings card is super nice like all the Rosetta and Philae illustrations. Unfortunately, the bigger version doesn’t seem to download correctly.

    • Claudia says:

      Thanks @frauxirah for spotting this.

      Apologies to you and all those who tried to download the season’s greetings card yesterday. This should work alright now.

      Best wishes

  • Robin Sherman says:

    I’d better get this in quick then. Following the release of the movie on the previous post, I went looking to see if there maybe a better view of Philae’s landing site. It turns out there is a slightly better illuminated view than the one on the 25th of Nov I used before, taken on the 21st of Nov. At the AGU meeting the Wlodek Kofman presented some CONSERT results and at the end showed a further refined search area for Philae on a slightly more refined shape model. I was able to relate this area to the image taken on the 21st and have drawn it on.

    As can be seen, given we know Philae is in a cave/alcove, there is only one place she can be. Shining out of the darkness of the alcove is a blob of light that is Philae. Close up this blob is actually a lot lighter shade of grey than the surrounding cryorock indicating it is made of a different material. It is clear that the team know where Philae is, but they just don’t have a picture good enough to define her orientation and definitively show it is Philae. I am sure that Holger’s latest OSIRIS survey campaign is designed to get a view of this cave with the Sun shining into it, so once the images are downloaded from Rosetta a confirmation will be forthcoming. Don’t expect to see the images though, they are worth too much money to give away to ESA so our wonderful blog team can pass them on to us.

    So with that I shall say thanks very much to the blog team for their great work, the Rosetta science teams for the wonderful science scape their amazing instruments are opening up to us all and especially to the flight operations team of Rosetta for enabling us to enjoy such an incredible journey of discovery. Best wishes to everyone for the holiday period, me I’ll be celebrating the Winter Solstice on the 21st.

    • Kamal Lodaya says:

      Given the new refinement of data from the Consert team at the AGU, I think we should give credit to Robin Sherman for locating Philae as early as the end of November. He says he was helped by Mattias Malmer’s “depth cue” interpretation, and I think this was an enormous help in realizing that Philae is somewhere out the falling slopes at the edge of the big crater and not inside some dungeon as it looked from the dark images in the CIVA panorama. The initial “diamond” shape shown by Bibring did not cover this area, and the later 1 km x 350 m strip was also a bit off. Mattias now has a “glint” image which he reckons is Philae and it appears to be moving into the location suggested by Robin. What I find heartening is that amateurs like Robin and Mattias have been working only with data made available on this blog, and not on the richer datasets available to some of the ESA scientists.

  • THOMAS says:

    Sincere thanks for having been allowed to express often dissident views on this forum thus far. Wishing the whole team warmest seasonal greetings. And looking forward to resuming ongoing discussions in January!

  • omero says:

    Indeed, enjoy your end-of-year (whatever) break and Cheers!

  • masanori says:

    Thank you very much all in the Blog team!!! Looking forward to updates from you in next year, too!!

    Thanks also to all the commenters whose comments I have enjoyed so much!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!!

  • Redgy Devos says:

    Best wishes for 2015 and happy holidays! It was a pleasure to be able to share my remarks in this forum .Great job!

  • Margarita says:

    Thanks SO MUCH for all your hard work over this past utterly incredible and exciting year! This blog has been my first internet port of call every day for months now, and you have handled comments magnificently.
    I actually feel part of a community here – and an intelligent and lively community at that!

    So, getting this comment in under the wire I hope,
    HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE (Which, like Robin, I also celebrate)
    Merry Christmas
    Happy New Year
    To the blog team, the Rosetta team – and all my fellow commentators here at the Rosetta blog.

    Peace and joy to you all.

  • DavidW says:

    Very Happy Christmas to you all

  • Gertrud says:

    Thank you all for sharing in this exciting months. You all a restful time between the years. On the next eventful months with Rosetta and Philae I am very pleased.
    With best regards Gertrud

  • Peter Molnár says:

    Merry Christmas to all ESA employees, throughout Europe, including the dilligent members of the Rosetta team. 🙂 I wish you a calm and pleasant holiday season. All the best to our duo of comet probes as well ! 😉

  • logan says:

    Heavy and warm mud. Days of moonlight. Nights of infinite stars. Dreams of live color.

    Expectancies about me. I have too, about you. Dreamers, are we? We get to know only what we love.

  • John Ewing says:

    Many thanks to you and the whole team. It’s been a great adventure so far and a privilege to follow it.

    Have a good break and come back suitably hung over.

    BTW, 6 January is traditionally a holiday in Germany, and an excellent reason to take an extra day. Philae won’t object.


  • Pierre Overman says:

    A merry Christmas to the whole Rosetta/Philae team. A big thanks for an unforgettable year. Hopefully next year will prove as unforgettable.

  • Jean says:

    Congratulations to all the team, you are fantastic!

    Happy end of the tenth year and see you soon.
    Abrazos from Mexico

  • Rod says:

    Thanks Rosetta team, have a great Christmas, is there a snowman Comet 67P/C-G look alike competition?

  • Dave says:

    Thanks to Rosetta team and esa, have a good Xmas and prosperous new year.

    Happy Xmas to all the bloggers, such a widly different view of the same data, always intesting in some way.

    But also thanks to the bloggers who have put so much effort into the blog, producing great pictures, efforts to find Philae and much more, even help with our physics from several people.

    I look fwd to the new year.

  • Daniel says:

    God jul!

    Thanks for the blog! Have to be a bit frustrating to deal with sometimes with all the requests for information that you cannot provide. But it is always nice to see new NAVCAM images, so keep up the good work!

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