Comet Breakthrough of the Year + People's choice

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Science  19 Dec 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6216, pp. 1442-1443
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6216.1442


Science's Breakthrough of the Year is the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. In November, Rosetta's lander, named Philae, captured headlines around the world by touching down for the first time on the surface of a comet. Now, the instrument-studded mother ship is keeping pace with the comet as it continues in its orbit, snapping pictures and analyzing the jets of gas that will spew from 67P as the comet nears its closest approach to the sun in August 2015. The information the craft sends back to Earth should give scientists valuable clues to how the solar system formed and where Earth got its chemicals—including the water that makes up an essential component of all known life. Also, visitors to Science's website picked their own top breakthroughs of 2014.

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