While we wait for the first science data to come back from Philae, let’s take a look at five special guests who are sitting in the audience here at ESOC today: the winners of three competitions that were launched during the past year of Rosetta to mark some of the mission’s milestones.


The five winners of the Rosetta competitions. In the back row, from left to right: Alexandre Broust, Elisabetta Bonora, Józef Dobrowolski and Emanuele Andreola; in the front row: Dimitris Grillis. The photo was taken at ESOC on 12 November. Credit: ESA/C.Carreau

One of the videos winning the #WakeUpRosetta competition early this year was produced by the pupils of the Ellinogermaniki Agogi Primary School in Athens, Greece. The eleven-year old Dimitris Grillis is here representing his school, curious to witness the first landing on a comet and to tell all about it to his friends and teachers once back in Greece; physics teacher Koskos Spyros also came along. The other winning video is by eighteen-year old Józef Dobrowolski from Ostrolzka, Poland, who joined the competition combining his two passions: astronomy and film-making.

Mountaineering and a message in a bottle were the themes of the two winning photos of the #AreWeThereYet photo competition, launched just before Rosetta arrived at the comet last summer. Emanuele Andreola, an engineering student from Italy, shot his winning picture on top of a 4000-metre-high peak in the Alps while thinking of the size of Comet 67P/C-G, while Elisabetta Bonora, a space enthusiast and image-processing aficionada also from Italy, launched a bottle containing a Rosetta model and a mysterious message into the Mediterranean sea.

In the last of the three competitions, which was launched last month, participants proposed names for the landing site on the comet. The winning name was Agilkia, an island on the Nile River in the south of Egypt, and the overall winner is Alexandre Brouste, a lecturer in mathematics from France who enjoys stargazing and all things space.