Mankind made history today by landing a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever. Yet, it seems that many people are far too distracted by Kim Kardashian's glistening ass to be aware of this monumental occasion.
Ground control to the human race: Get your sh*t together.
Accordingly, this tweet perfectly captures society's mixed-up priorities:
It would be nice to live in a world where the first ever man-made machine to land on a comet got even 5% the attention of Kim K's ass. — Jeff (BPredict) (@BPredict) November 12, 2014
Thankfully, it appears that other people agree:
@PeytonsHead A magazine cover of Kim K’s “asset” has been consistently trending higher than the comet landing. Humanity made its choice. — Adam McManus (@amcmanus) November 12, 2014
The human race is landing spacecraft on a comet the same day it puts Kim K's shiny butt on a magazine cover. #progress — Catherine Thompson (@KT_thomps) November 12, 2014
Are people aware that we're landing on an actual comet today? Or has Kim K's bum completely eclipsed this (literally) — Fiona Day (@fiona_day) November 12, 2014
Kim K is trending, but the Rosetta landing on the comet isn't. No wonder the US is 52nd in science education. #CometLanding #SoMuchAmazing — HowToFoldSoup (@HowToFoldSoup) November 12, 2014
At least some people care... There is hope for humanity after all.
In case you're interested in what's happening with the comet landing, here's the rundown:
A Robot Just Landed On A Comet 317 Million Miles From Earth
At approximately 10:30 AM (ET) on Wednesday morning, a spacecraft landed on a comet for the first time in history.
The spacecraft is a small probe named Philae.
Philae is 220 pounds, about the size of a refrigerator and box-shaped. It was carried to the comet by a larger probe named Rosetta.
The comet is known as 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a 2.5 mile-wide ball of rock and ice.
The entire mission was orchestrated by the European Space Agency, with mission control located in Darmstadt, Germany.
TOUCHDOWN for @Philae2014! #CometLanding pic.twitter.com/ZMBeB8ng3h — ESA Rosetta Mission (@ESA_Rosetta) November 12, 2014
Shortly before the landing was confirmed, ESA director Jean-Jacques addressed his colleagues, stating:
This is a big step for human civilization. The biggest problem with success is it looks easy.
Indeed, this is a huge step forward and a massive sign of progress. Yet, we should not be fooled into thinking this was a simple task.
If landing on a comet were easy, it would have been done before. To put this into perspective, comets are massive, made of rock and ice and orbit around the sun at 84,000 miles per hour.
In essence, we just landed a spacecraft millions of miles from Earth on a gigantic rock that's zipping around the solar system.
The Journey To The Comet Took 10 Years And Billions Of Miles
It took Rosetta 10 years and 3.5 billion miles to travel to the comet, having been launched from French Guiana in 2004.
As Joseph Stromberg of Vox explains, "The reason it's been traveling so long is that, to reach the comet, Rosetta had to loop around the solar system several times, passing by Earth and Mars so that it could use the planets' gravity as a slingshot."
Rosetta deployed Philae at about 3:35 AM (ET) this morning. The subsequent descent took around seven hours.
As it turns out, even robots have Twitter accounts these days. Thus, when Philae landed on the comet, it made sure to alert the world via social media:
Touchdown! My new address: 67P! #CometLanding — Philae Lander (@Philae2014) November 12, 2014
In fact, the entire mission was live-tweeted.
Philae's landing wasn't entirely smooth, however, as the probe's gas thrusters malfunctioned. Ultimately, the probe was forced to rely on screws and harpoons to attach to a rugged patch of terrain on the comet.
According to reports, Philae has also had issues firing the harpoons, thus it may not be fully secured. Hence, the situation will continue to be monitored, but it appears that Philae is resting on firm footing.
At this point, Philae has around 64 hours to explore the comet. During that time, the probe will analyze soil samples and collect other data. The importance of this information cannot be understated.
We will soon know more about comets than at any point in history. Correspondingly, we have the potential to learn intricate details about the history of both our planet and solar system.
This Is A HUGE Deal... Comets Are A Treasure Chest Of Vital Information
The comet Philae just landed on is believed to have formed approximately 4.6 billion years ago. In other words, scientists are of the opinion that this comet is as old as our solar system itself, and formed around the same time as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Likewise, many scientists believe that comets played a vital role in the formation of Earth by bringing water and organic molecules to the planet.
Simply put, by studying comets, we might better understand how the solar system was formed. Concurrently, we will potentially be granted greater insight into the genesis of our own planet, including how humans and all life on Earth came to be.
Comets might offer us the story behind our very existence, which is precisely why this is such an historic day for humanity. This is also a tremendous technological achievement, and a positive sign for the future of space exploration.