This mountain is so beautiful, it's a pity that no one has climbed it yet! However, no one can climb it, because this is a mountain on a comet.
The image you see here is of a mountain on a comet taken by the European Space Agency's Rosetta probe in 2014.
The mountain is called Hat Mountain, it is located on the small head of a comet named 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, it is about 900 meters high and 1500 meters wide.
This mountain not only has a strange appearance, but also has two amazing secrets. The first secret is that it has its own aurora! This is an ultraviolet glow caused by the interaction of the comet's gas with the electrons in the solar wind, which covers the entire core of the comet and makes the comet even more beautiful.
The second secret is that this is where the Philae lander aboard the Rosetta probe touched down for the second time! The Philae lander is a small probe whose mission is to make more detailed and direct observations and experiments on the comet's surface. However, due to the low gravity on the comet's surface and the failure of the fixation device on the lander, the Philae lander did not successfully stay fixed on the intended landing site, but bounced twice and finally landed in a shadowed area inside. It took scientists a long time to find the final location of the Philae lander, and until then, they only knew the location of its first touchdown and its third (and final) touchdown. The location of the second touchdown remained a mystery until October 28, 2020, when scientists finally spotted the traces left by the Philae lander in images captured by the OSIRIS camera.
Guess where is this trace?
That's right, right on Hat Hill! The Philae lander hit an eye-shaped rocky area on Hat Mountain at a speed of about 38 kilometers per hour, knocking some dust and rocks out. The dust and rock formed a bright speck, like an eye opening on Hat Mountain. This discovery not only solved the mystery of the location of the Philae lander's second touchdown, but also provided us with a rare opportunity to study the nature and distribution of material on the comet's surface. By comparing the changes in the material on the hat mountain before and after the impact, scientists can infer information such as the density, hardness, and particle size of the material on the surface of the comet.
You may ask, why should we care about this information?
Because comets are the raw material left over from the formation of the solar system, they can help us unlock the secrets of the origin and evolution of the solar system and life.
The Rosetta probe and Philae lander were launched with this goal in mind. They are the first missions in human history to encounter a comet, follow it as it orbits the sun, and release a lander on its surface.
They have provided us with a wealth of data and images about comets, giving us a deeper understanding of these enigmatic objects.
Hat Mountain was one of the discoveries that took us by surprise.
The European probe not only showed the beauty and wonder of comets, but also witnessed the history and achievements of human exploration of space.
Although the Rosetta has captured this unique scene for us, in our lifetime, will there be new space probes from China flying to 67P again to bring us the latest news about it?
Let us wait and see, under the wings of space and technology, the story of this mountain may not be finished yet.