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Possible Detection of Ground Fog on Titan

12 May 2016, 22:00 UTC
Possible Detection of Ground Fog on Titan
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On 25 December 2004, the Huygens probe was released from the Cassini spacecraft. The probe descended through the atmosphere of Titan and landed on the surface of Titan on 14 January 2005. The probe's descent through Titan's atmosphere took 2.5 hours, and the probe continued to take measurements and relay data for an hour after landing. Smith et al. (2016) present results from the analysis of data taken with the Descent Imager/Spectrometer Radiometer (DISR) on the Huygens probe.The analysis involved 82 images taken with the Side Looking Imager (SLI), a sub-instrument on the DISR. These images were all taken while the Huygens probe was on the surface of Titan. Out of the 82 images, 6 images appear to show an extended, horizontal feature above the horizon that seems to rise and fall over the course of the observations. The most likely interpretation is that this feature is a fog bank near the horizon that rose and fell over a span of time.Other than a fog bank near the horizon, a number of other explanations might potentially account for the observed feature. However, none of these alternative explanations appear likely. One alternative is that the observed feature is a low-level cloud. ...

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