First pictures of Philae comet lander released

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ESA Releases Images of Philae's Kilometer-High 'Bounce'If landing highly specialized scientific equipment on a comet wasn't already nerve-wracking enough, the European Space Agency had to wait to see if the Philae mission would succeed as the spacecraft bounced a kilometer up off the comet during landing.

Late Sunday, ESA posted this blog entry showing what the agency believes is Philae's landing spot on Comet 67P/C-G. The dust cloud had already been observed, but you can now see what scientists believe is Philae itself and its shadow.

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Philae Comet Lander
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First pictures of Philae comet lander released
Hello Earth! Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae
Incredible news! My lander Philae is awake! http://t.co/VtzAQHx4zT http://t.co/SZqnsnNpUZ
Hello @ESA_Rosetta! I'm awake! How long have I been asleep? #Lifeonacomet
Hello @Philae2014! You’ve had a long sleep, about 7 months!
Wow @ESA_Rosetta! That’s a long time… time for me to get back to work! #Lifeonacomet
.@Philae2014 Need to check you’re fit, healthy and warm enough first @philae2014! Take it easy for now :)
Oh, OK @ESA_Rosetta! I’m still a bit tired anyway… talk to you later! Back to #lifeonacomet!
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 13: The image shows the Rosettas lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on November 13, 2014. One of the landers three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic. The lander is separated from Rosetta earlier on November 12 and headed towards the surface of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko 67P which is moving at the speed of more than 80,000 miles (128,747 kilometers) per hour. The probe is named after the Rosetta stone, a stele of Egyptian origin and the lander is named after Philae, an island in Lake Nasser, Egypt. (Photo by ESA/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
IN SPACE: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) This November 13, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the first panoramic 'postcard' from the surface of a comet returned by Rosetta's lander Philae, which landed on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet's surface yesterday. ESA, despite some malfunctions on the Philae craft, successfully landed it on the comet on November 12, 2014 making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
IN SPACE: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) This November 13, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows the surface of the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet as seen from the Philae lander, which landed on the comet's surface yesterday. ESA, despite some malfunctions on the Philae craft, successfully landed it on the comet on November 12, 2014 making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: The image shows the surface of the comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on November 12, 2014 from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. The lander is separated from Rosetta earlier on November 12 and headed towards the surface of the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko 67P which is moving at the speed of more than 80,000 miles (128,747 kilometers) per hour. The probe is named after the Rosetta stone, a stele of Egyptian origin and the lander is named after Philae, an island in Lake Nasser, Egypt. (Photo by European Space Agency/Pool/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this November 12, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) The Rosetta mission crew monitors Philae successfully landing on comet 67P, at the European Operations Space Centre in Darmstadt, Germany on November 12, 2014. ESA later successfully landed Philae, making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this November 12, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) the Philae lander is pictured on its way to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet after a successful separation from the Rosetta probe. The image was taken with the lander's CIVA-P imaging system and captures one of Rosetta's 14 metre-long solar arrays. ESA later successfully landed Philae, making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) This November 12, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows comet 67P/CG acquired by the ROLIS instrument on the Philae lander during descent on November 12, 14:38:41 UT from a distance of approximately 3 km from the surface. The landing site is imaged with a resolution of about 3m per pixel. ROLIS (ROsetta Lander Imaging System) is a descent and close-up camera on the Philae Lander. ESA later successfully landed Philae, making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
DARMSTADT, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 12: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) In this November 12, 2014 handout photo provided by the European Space Agency (ESA) the Philae lander is pictured on its way to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet after a successful separation from the Rosetta probe. ESA later successfully landed Philae, making it the first man-made craft to ever land on a comet. The Philae lander, launched from the Rosetta probe, is a mini laboratory that will gather data on the comet. (Photo ESA via Getty Images)
My controlroom after a more than 100% successful #CometLanding (watch the party in the background) http://t.co/CmnoKMBVUY
The view is absolutely breathtaking ESA_Rosetta! Unlike anything I've ever seen #CometLanding http://t.co/flsSdxz0bo
Another stunning image of my new home taken by ROLIS during #CometLanding yesterday, when I was just 40 m from #67P http://t.co/I8OZ5kXjXA
Now that I’m safely on the ground, here is what my new home #67P looks like from where I am. #CometLanding http://t.co/gFmt8Ldvpa
Thank you! RT @WilliamShatner: My message to @ESA_Rosetta and it's away team! http://t.co/WtQVg8aHWy
My science team eagerly looking into the data I collected at another day on the comet! http://t.co/1S2do55XPQ
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Philae has since gone dark because scientists believe it landed in a shady area of the comet blocking its solar panels, and the spacecraft ran out of battery Friday evening.

The world has been fascinated by ESA's successful attempt to land a manmade device on a possibly billions-of-years-old space body. But while the space agency received data from Philae, it still didn't know where it landed. (Video via European Space Agency)

In fact, ESA released these images taken by the Rosetta mothership Friday with the note Philae had landed at "a still unconfirmed location likely outside of these images."

The BBC notes the 200-plus pound spacecraft bounced approximately a kilometer up off of 67P/C-G and landed hundreds of meters from that first dust cloud.

Philae did manage to drill into the comet and transfer some data back to Earth. BBC reports just before the spacecraft went to sleep, it was ordered to raise itself a few centimeters and rotate in hopes of putting itself in the best position to someday catch more sun and recharge.

This video includes an image from the European Space Agency / CC BY SA 2.0.

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