The Philae lander has given scientists a few hints about comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko before going to sleep. Data from one of the lander’s instruments suggests that the comet has a hard icy layer sitting beneath 10 to 20 centimeters of dust. The find surprised scientists who were anticipating the instrument’s hammer would pound into a layer of material that was a bit softer. There are also reports that another of Philae’s instruments detected carbon-containing organic molecules.
Mission scientists continue to analyze the data that Philae collected in its brief 64 hours of activity on comet 67P.