BROOKE: Winter’s mortal instrument was an asteroid, but it could have just as easily been a comet. That sound is from the 1998 movie Deep Impact, where a comet flattens cities and drowns most of the human race. In the 1984 movie “Night of the Comet,” a comet chooses among us either for death or zombification.
BROOKE: Historically across the globe, comets were curses, so much so that one prompted the Emperor Nero to murder all his potential successors. (Though he might have done that anyway.) In Switzerland, Halley's Comet was blamed for earthquakes, illnesses, and the births of two-headed beasts. In England, it was blamed for the Black Death. And the Christian Church cited scripture to proclaim comets balls of fire flung from the right hand of an angry God to warn the grovelling dwellers of earth. But humankind no longer shudders. Instead, it saddles up. This week, comet 67P met the European Space Agency’s Philae <FEEL- i> space probe. It landed, bounced, settled in the shade, and may risk a jump into sunlight so it can power up. And the comet, well the comet sings.
COMET SOUND UP/DOWN
BROOKE: The sound, magnified 10-thousand times, of oscillations in 67P’s magnetic field. With humanity so bloodied with self-inflicted wounds, this landing is an absolute good. It’s a wondrous thing, to meet one’s old demons, and hear them sing. Maybe it will prime us to meet our newer demons, sooner than later.