Thursday, November 13, 2014

Catch a Falling Star

Who knew a comet could be lassoed and landed? Who knew a comet could be stalked and studied, pursued and parsed, its every movement charted and filed, honed to such precision that its whereabouts could be predicted with certainty 300 million miles from earth?

A comet has always seemed a quicksilver thing to me. More light than substance, even though I know it has rock at its core.

Now this rock hurtling through space — the ultimate moving target — has become a laboratory. It may yield the secrets of our solar system, the scientists tell us. It is a "cosmological dream," the Washington Post says.

A dream not just for cosmologists, I'd say, but for us all.


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