Picking pieces of comet dust + Royal Society Summer Science website live!

Well it’s certainly been a busy month as I’ve been preparing my new comet dust samples and doing lots of planning for the Royal Society summer science exhibit.

The comet dust lab work involves manipulating 10 micron-sized pieces of comet from a glass slide to a gold foil mounted on an aluminium stub using a tungsten needle mounted on a high tech micromanipulator on a high powered optical microscope. Phew, that’s hard to describe! I’ve managed to move 14 of the particles so far and so I have plenty to be getting on with for the next phase of analyses which includes SEM and Raman to look at the elemental chemistry and organic material.

For the Catch A Comet exhibit for the Royal Society I’ve been in discussions with the comet sculpture makers Wild Flag Studios and they are coming back to me with some designs soon. Very excited to see what they come up with. There’s been a mountain of other little things to do as well and as soon as I’ve finished something I find another thing that needs doing!

Oh, and if you’re interested in the real science coming out of the Rosetta mission then the scientists running the Ptolemy instrument have set-up this nice little blog to tell us all about what they’re doing on a daily basis as we approach and land on comet 67P.

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibit website is now live (see here) and you can watch the the film we made to explain the science behind the exhibit here or above.