8. May 2018 - 12. September 2018Public
Journey to the Origins of the Solar System
Comets! They come from the outer reaches of the Solar System, from regions far beyond the planets – billions of kilometres from the Sun. Comets are unusual, spectacular and still relatively unexplored. They are dark bodies composed of dust and ice, as old as the Solar System itself. As they approach the Sun, they become active and their beauty unfolds against the night sky. Comets play a very important role in science. Will they reveal the key to the early history of Earth? Did the oceans’ waters arrive as cometary ice? Were hydrocarbon molecules from comets the fundamental building blocks of life on Earth?
These are the questions that are being investigated by the European Rosetta mission. After travelling for 10 years, the Rosetta spacecraft reached comet 67P/Churyumov Gerasimenko. A few months later, the spectacular landing of Philae on the comet’s surface made all the headlines. The mission came to an end in 2016 when the orbiter was set down on the comet in a controlled manoeuvre. Data from this scientific adventure is now available. The German Aerospace Center (DLR) invites you to the Natural History Museum Vienna, where you will embark on a journey to the origins of the Solar System.