Monday, January 17, 2005


On January 14th, after "its seven-year journey through the Solar System on board the Cassini spacecraft, ESA’s Huygens probe has successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon and safely landed on its surface."

Saturn is 1.3 billion km from us! That's 1 300 000 000 000 meters! The technological achievement this represents is incredible. Often I hear people say "what do we really know?" Well, we obviously know enough to send a huge craft over a billion kilometers and then release a smaller craft during a seven year trip! People have different views on the world, and some like to say "who's to say which one is better?" Obviously, it depends on what you measure, but NO other world view can achieve what science has done here.

I think it is amazing that you can actually hear sound of its descent through the atmosphere!

ESA said, "This composite was produced from images returned yesterday, 14 January 2005, by ESA's Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. It shows a full 360-degree view around Huygens. The left-hand side, behind Huygens, shows a boundary between light and dark areas. The white streaks seen near this boundary could be ground 'fog' of methane or ethane vapour, as they were not immediately visible from higher altitudes. As the probe descended, it drifted over a plateau (centre of image) and was heading towards its landing site in a dark area (right). This dark area is possibly a drainage channel which might still contain liquid material. From the drift of the probe, the wind speed has been estimated at around 6-7 metres per second. These images were taken from an altitude of about 8 kilometres with a resolution of about 20 metres per pixel."


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