Poor little Philae is still lost, missing since just days after its historic comet landing in November. European Space Agency scientists know roughly what kind of terrain its wedged into -- and that the lack of sunlight at its final landing spot is what caused it to die so early -- but they still haven't gotten visual confirmation of the lander's location.

The Rosetta orbiter that dropped Philae onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has continued its scheduled scientific missions and is now orbiting farther away from the comet, so the ESA is unlikely to spot Philae in future photos.

But there's good news: ESA scientists believe that Philae will have enough light to wake up in May or June. It may get enough sunlight to boot up as early as March, but it's going to need some serious juice to reestablish a communication link with Rosetta.

“We are already discussing and preparing which instruments should be operated for how long,” project scientist Stephan Ulamec said in a statement.

There may end up being a serious silver lining to Philae's bumpy landing. In its original landing spot, Philae was meant to have enough solar illumination to power regular operations without a hitch. But that prime sunny real estate had a downside as well: By March, as the comet approached the sun, it would be too hot there for the lander to survive.

We may not know exactly where Philae's new digs are, but we know that they're a great deal darker -- and that means the resting spot is cooler, too. If Philae can wake up and start doing science again, it's going to be protected from the sun's heat as the comet approaches their closest rendezvous. Scientists expect the comet to start behaving in new and exciting ways as it heats up and releases more of its frozen molecules, so Philae might get to take some pretty interesting readings.

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