Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rosetta in Paris

Andrea Accomazzo,  Rosetta Operations Manager (left) and Yannis Daglis, in front of the Rosetta spacecraft model, at the European Space Operations Centre (ESA/ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany

Rosetta will, at last, visit Paris ...
European Space Agency spacecraft Rosetta will encounter asteroid Lutetia today, 10 July, 18:00–23:00 Central European Summer Time (webcast at space visit to Lutetia comes as a "symbolic" remedy of a missed rendezvous back two centuries ago, when the Rosetta stele (stone), found by Napoleon's troops in Rashid (Rosetta), Egypt, never made its way to Paris, because the victorious British troops brought it to London instead. The Rosetta stone was the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphics by the French scholar Jean-François Champollion, with the help of the Greek text of the stele. The Rosetta stele was erected immediately after the coronation of the Greek king of Egypt Ptolemy V Epiphanes and was inscribed with a decree establishing the worship of the new ruler as god.

Ah, yes, this encounter is an interesting and somewhat ironic remedy of the historic fate of the Rosetta stone simply because Lutetia Parisiorum was the Latin name of Paris ... for Greek readers, a relevant article was published last Sunday in Kathimerini.
A giant copy of the Rosetta stone in Figeac, France, the birthplace of Jean-François Champollion / Joseph Kosuth

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