Rosetta (Rašīd)

After chasing a comet for a decade,

this space voyager will try to land,

resting on ancient stone, dust and ice,

dissolving as it journeys toward the Sun,

leaving a tail for us to translate.


The Rosetta Stone with its ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, demotic and Greek script (British Museum)  It was named for the city in Egypt, Rosette or Rosetta (“little rose”), where it was found. That name is a corruption of the city’s Arabic name. Rašīd, which means “guide” and is a far better name for both the stone and the spacecraft following the comet.

You can watch Rosetta live from 9-11:30 a.m. on Wednesday November 12 EST for its scheduled landing of a probe on a comet.


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