Philae has landed!

Philae’s descent to the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Image courtesy of esa.

Last night space history was made when the Philae probe successfully descended from Rosetta and landed on Comet 67P. The Think Physics team watched the scenes unfold from our own mission control: Think Lab. We would like to extend our congratulations to everyone involved in the landing and wish them every success during the rest of the mission. More information can be found by visiting the European Space Agency’s website here. You can also review the journey that Rosetta has made by using this mind-blowing interactive map.

This afternoon, we have a small celebration of our own – the official launch of the Think Physics project. Not quite as complicated as landing a probe on a comet 510,398,393 km away, but we’re having our own nail-biting moments!

Try this personality type test

No idea where you’re headed? This personality survey at the Guardian today might offer you some ideas. Two warnings:

  1. The test is sponsored by a life insurance company.
  2. It suggests I should seriously consider wedding planning as a career, which doesn’t quite line up with anything I might remotely enjoy ever ever ever.

What I do like about it is the type of questions that are asked. You’ll see very little about education level or subject, and nothing at all about qualifications. It’s all about skills, lifestyle, and the sorts of things that make you happy.

See what you think. Useful? Leave us a comment – if you think it’s a useful start for discussions we’ll add it to our Resources catalogue.

Tinkering Thursday: Soap Bubble Viewing

Joe observes soap bubbles on a prototype viewer

Prototype soap bubble viewer, with Joe for scale

We’ve been exploring a novel way of viewing the colour fringes created by curved soap films, with fairly dramatic results. This is a quick test time-lapse with only very minor processing – the camera really did see colours this dramatic.

In a week or two we’ll write up an activity based around this, but if you’re particularly keen you can probably work out how we’re doing this from the photo alongside.

You might like a hint: Melodi (£5).

We only had video lights to hand but standard desk lamps are fine, and if you stick your head where the camera is you should see a view as spectacular as the animation above. Or – quite likely – a place where bubble was until a fraction of a second earlier. So it goes.

…or perhaps you might like to try your hand blowing some giant soap bubbles?