Colloquium with Amalia Finzi, Politecnico di Milano
Comets are of great interest to scientists because, to our knowledge, they are the oldest, most primitive bodies in the Solar System, preserving the earliest record of material from the nebula out of which our Sun and planets were formed.
Rosetta, the ESA mission to the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has been designed just to get information on the composition and physical structure of comets in order to constrain the models which describe the process of planet formation.
Rosetta characteristics are unique among the Solar System Exploration missions, not only because of the special instruments onboard, but also for the delicate and spectacular manoeuvres required for approaching, orbiting, and landing on a comet.
Moreover Rosetta will analyse, more precisely than ever before, the kind of organic molecules present in the comet, hoping to answer to the fundamental question: did life on Earth (and not only) begin with the help of comet seeding?