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View from Huygens

5 May 2017, 01:25 UTC
View from Huygens
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

NASA dixit:
“January 14, 2005. Image collected during the 147-minute plunge through Titan’s thick orange-brown atmosphere to a soft sandy riverbed by the European Space Agency’s Huygens Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer. In 4 minutes and 40 seconds, the movie shows what the probe ‘saw’ within the few hours of the descent and the landing. On approach, Titan appeared as just a little disk in the sky among the stars, but after landing, the probe’s camera resolved little grains of sand millions of times smaller than Titan.
At first, the Huygens camera just saw fog over the distant surface. The fog started to clear only at about 60 kilometers (37 miles) altitude, making it possible to resolve surface features as large as 100 meters (328 feet). Only after landing could the probe’s camera resolve the little grains of sand. The movie provides a glimpse of such a huge change of scale.”
“After almost 20 years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration: its Grand Finale. Between April and September 2017, Cassini will undertake a daring set of orbits that is, in many ways, like a whole new mission. Following a final close flyby of ...

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