Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mark 'Kilroy was here' on Comet Leonard

Zap it with a satellite using... uh... lasers or something
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So, high-powered satellite with hyper-precise hyper- powered long-range laser etching capability... nah, scratch that, the comet is probably rotating in some random fashion that'll make the writing a scrawl.

Maybe there's a way to figure out its rotational axis and speed so that the laser can do some dot matrix style letters.

Yeah okay so the Comet's surface will burn it off as it gets closer to the sun. Maybe we can zap it as it's getting further away...?

Too bad we missed Neowise. An Oort cloud wanderer would've been the perfect candidate.

I suppose we could just spell it out on Mars with a rover. But where's the challenge in that?

Maybe we could just build a comet? Glue together some space junk onto an engine that we lift?

RayfordSteele, Jun 21 2021

CHA https://the-tick-an...andom.com/wiki/Moon
Now HA [AusCan531, Jun 22 2021]

Missions to comets https://en.wikipedi..._missions_to_comets
[a1, Jun 22 2021]

An artificial comet https://www.nytimes...5000-mile-tail.html
Barium put on a good show [a1, Jun 22 2021]

2014-UN271 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_UN271
Departing in 2031 for Anaheim. Azusa, and … Oort Cloud? [a1, Jun 23 2021]

Elon might try this https://www.comicsk...c-circle/2021-07-04
[a1, Jul 04 2021]

Lucy http://lucy.swri.edu/LucyPlaque.html
Asteroid explorer carries writings [a1, Jul 13 2021]


       "Kilroy was here" is a bit... common.
Needs to be something at least a little mysterious, like (perhaps) half a croissant?
neutrinos_shadow, Jun 21 2021

       // ... spell it out with a Mars Rover ... But where's the challenge in that? //   

       Weather. On Mars you'd have to pick a time and location where seasonal dusty winds won't scour it away.   

       Likewise on marking up a comet. Not just that you have to tag it after perihelion, but long enough after so it's no longer outgassing. THAT'S gonna be a challenge - no coma, no tail, gonna be hard to hit what you can't see.   

       There's nothing else for it - Leave Earth orbit and chase the thing. Either to land on it or burn it from a close-in orbit.
a1, Jun 21 2021

       Partially baked on the animated series "The Tick". The villian Chairface, started writing his name on the moon using a laser before he was interrupted by the hero. The moon said "CHA" for awhile until The Tick arranged for the "C" to be erased. As far as I know, it's been "HA" ever since. [link]
AusCan531, Jun 22 2021

       // Maybe we could just build a comet? //   

       Sure. Getting from Earth TO a cometary orbit is possible <link>? It’s a long trip though. If you ever expect to see your comet again (or even for your grandchildren to see it), send it to the Kuiper Belt -- Oort Cloud it too far.   

       And don’t build it of typical space junk, that’ll never develop a coma or a tail. Pack a block of water ice, dry ice, or other volatile solids into an insulated casing for the outbound trip. At aphelion, eject the casing so your comet will properly flare when dives back towards the sun.
a1, Jun 22 2021

       Common for a particular planet in the unfashionable portion of the galaxy, perhaps. But not for comets on their way to the Oort cloud.
RayfordSteele, Jun 23 2021

       You can tag 2014-UN271 for a ride out to the Oort Cloud <link>. You’ve got a few years to get ready.
a1, Jun 23 2021

       Good call, a1. I was thinking of that myself. Also, with an orbital period measuring in the millions of years, there has to be a good science fiction story in there somewhere, surely?
DrBob, Jun 27 2021

       [DrBob] i think the idea is to leave a mark for someone else to see… if not our descendants, then visitors from somewhere else. Given the timeframe and volatility of cometary surfaces, dropping off a monument or artifacts of some kind might suit that purpose better than laser graffiti.   

       Maybe a pictorial plaque, or some phonograph records or CDs, flags, coins, stamps, cremains of a famous scientist … something like that.
a1, Jun 27 2021

       Any such plaque must include the classic nose-over-the-wall image.
pertinax, Jul 04 2021


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