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The Philae Probe Has Woken Up After 7 Months On A Comet

The Philae probe has been in "hibernation" since November.

Posted on June 14, 2015, at 10:36 a.m. ET

The first probe to ever land on a comet is back in action after going into "hibernation" last fall.

ESA / AP

The European Space Agency's (ESA) probe Rosetta successfully sent its lander Philae onto comet 67P on November 12 last year.

The probe began work drilling into the comet, but went dark after only 60 hours on the surface.

This "hibernation" occurred because Philae, which runs on solar panels, only has a battery life of 60 hours. Since it landed in the shadows, it was unable to use its panels to power back up.

For the past seven months, scientists have been waiting for Philae to collect enough sunlight to power back up. On Sunday, it finally "woke up."

Hello Earth! Can you hear me? #WakeUpPhilae

Rosetta, the probe that Philae was attached to, said it was very happy Philae was awake.

Incredible news! My lander Philae is awake! http://t.co/VtzAQHx4zT

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It has been a long seven months!

Hello @Philae2014! You’ve had a long sleep, about 7 months!

But Philae is ready to keep learning more about the comet.

.@Philae2014 Need to check you’re fit, healthy and warm enough first @philae2014! Take it easy for now :)

The ESA said in a press release that Philae is doing "very well" and is ready to resume its work studying the comet.

They added that Philae had likely been awake and collecting data before it was able to make contact.

Scientists said they will hopefully be able to get more data the next time Philae makes contact, and will be able to study what the lander has been up to for the past few days.

Welcome back, Philae!

Oh, OK @ESA_Rosetta! I’m still a bit tired anyway… talk to you later! Back to #lifeonacomet!

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