The Rosetta spacecraft is crash landing onto a comet early this morning, and you can watch the whole thing on a live stream right here, in the video embedded above.
The landing was originally predicted to happen at 12:40 CEST or 6:30 a.m. Eastern (give or take 20 minutes), according to the European Space Agency. However, a more recent update from the ESA, as of late Thursday night, put the landing time as being at 13:20 CEST (or 7:20 a.m. Eastern). The exact time is still subject to change. To be on the safe side, you should have the live stream running by about 6 a.m. and check ESA’s Facebook page for updates or the ESA’s webpage here.
The live stream of Rosetta’s grand finale, linked to above, will begin streaming at about 3:50 a.m. Eastern, giving up-to-the-minute information on the exact landing time.
If for any reason the embedded video above does not play, you can watch the crash landing on the ESA’s website here.
The spacecraft will collect data, including photos, as it crashes onto the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The controlled descent will end with the Rosetta landing on the edge of a pit on the comet’s smaller lobe. The pit is called Deir el-Medina. Scientists hope the data collected from the landing will give them even more details about the origins of comets. Scientists believe the inside walls of the pit may have material from the comet’s formation.
Rosetta’s OSIRIS camera will be taking detailed photos of multiple pits on the comet as it descends to its final impact. Its mass spectrometer will also study the molecules within the comet’s coma and its airborne dust. It should ultimately land just a few kilometers from the Philae Lander.
Rosetta’s Twitter account has already been sharing photos as it has approached the comet. Here are two of the best:
See photos of the Philae Lander, just found by the Rosetta earlier this month, in the article below: