Comets have inspired awe and wonder since the dawn of history. Many scientists today believe that comets crashed into Earth in its formative period spewing organic molecules that were crucial to the growth of life; and while some scientists think that comets and planets were both made from the same clumps of dust and ice that spewed from our Sunâs birth, others think that these roving time capsules are even older than that, and that they may contain grains of interstellar stuff that is even older than our solar system. The Rosetta spacecraft is on a ten-year mission to catch a comet and answer this and other questions by being the first spacecraft to soft-land a robot on a comet! Rosetta will also be the first spacecraft to accompany a comet as it enters our inner solar system, observing at close range how the comet changes as the Sunâs heat transforms it into the luminous apparition that has frightened and inspired people for centuries.
Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014, 7pm
The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, 7pm
The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.