Comet Landing Countdown: Why ‘Agilkia’ Is The New Name For Philae Touchdown Site

Philae's landing site, dubbed Agilkia, as seen by the Rosetta spacecraft on Oct. 30, 2014. The spacecraft was 26.8 km (16.7 miles) from the Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko's center when the picture was taken. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

Philae’s landing site, dubbed Agilkia, as seen by the Rosetta spacecraft on Oct. 30, 2014. The spacecraft was 26.8 km (16.7 miles) from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s center when the picture was taken. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0

After sifting through 8,000 entries in multiple languages — even in Esperanto! — the contest to name Philae’s landing site on Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko has resulted in an Egyptian-themed name.

The European Space Agency lander will touch down on the comet on a site dubbed “Agilkia”, which is named after an Egyptian island that hosts the Temple of Isis and other buildings that previously were on the island Philae. The buildings were moved due to the Aswan dams flooding Philae in the past century.

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© Elizabeth Howell for Universe Today, 2014. |
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