The European Space Agency has said the Philae probe has landed on Comet 67P with two legs on the surface and one leg sticking up into space.

At a press briefing this lunchtime, the ESA confirmed that following the failure of the harpoons on the lander, it bounced back up around 1km into space before landing on the comet again almost two hours later.

It then bounced a second time for a couple of centimetres, lasting 7 minutes, before settling again on the surface.

The agency said photos suggest it is positioned in a near horizontal position in the shadow of a cliff, possibly in the rim of a crater on the head of the comet.

This will have consequences for the ability of the probe to gather solar energy, once the battery runs out.

Scientists at ESA had hoped that it would land in a position where it would gather 6-7 hours of solar energy a day.

However, they now estimate that the probe in its unexpected landing position will only be able to receive one and a half hours of solar energy per day.

This many have implications for the future operations of the probe, and the scientists are now trying to establish what the consequences will be.

They are also trying to establish if it might be feasible to alter the lander's position.

In the meantime, the ESA said the lander is stable and carrying out scientific data gathering, which is being transmitted back to Earth.

The agency also revealed that while it had expected the lander to land on powder, it actually came down on a rock like material. 

Earlier scientists said they have re-established communication with the Philae space probe, which made history yesterday by landing on a comet.

Rosetta project scientist Dr Matt Taylor said the European Space Agency was receiving a good signal and receiving science data.

He said: "Now we are busy analysing what it all means and really trying to find out where the lander actually is on the surface."

Scientists hope the probe will yield insights into the origins of our Solar System.

A radio signal confirming the landing was received by scientists at about 4pm Irish time yesterday, after taking almost 30 minutes to travel the 500 million kilometres to Earth.

The probe is equipped with cameras, a suite of ten instruments and a drill that can bore out samples to a depth of 22cm.

Scientists hope the €1 billion mission will yield valuable information about the origin of the Solar System, the Earth, and possibly life.

As Philae begins to study the comet, Rosetta must manoeuvre from its post-separation path back into an orbit around the object.

Next year, as the comet grows more active, Rosetta will step further back and fly unbound "orbits", making brief fly-bys to within 8km of the surface.

The comet will reach its closest point to the Sun on 13 August next year at a distance of about 185m kilometres, roughly between the orbits of Earth and Mars.

Ten facts to sum up orbiter Rosetta and robot lab Philae

View images from the landing here