Hidden Nook

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Friday, January 14, 2005



Titan pit stop...


[Media Source*]

The Huygens probe is coming closer to the mysterious moon of Titan (which orbits Saturn) in order to discover the secrets that lie on it's surface. Titan is one of two moons to have an atmosphere (the other belongs to Triton which orbits Neptune) and is larger than the planet Mercury. The probe's purpose is to discover the secrets that lie beneath it's surface.


(Image: ESA)

The Huygens probe began its lone journey to Titan on Christmas Day


More info from the News Scientists for the space freaks:
The Huygens probe is nearing Saturn's giant moon, Titan, and is ready to plummet headlong into its atmosphere. If all goes well, it will become the first man-made object to land on such a distant world.

Cameras will scan the surface and the skies, capturing highly detailed pictures of Titan's terrain, and two instruments will analyse the gases and particles in the atmosphere. Titan has been likened to a version of the early Earth in deep freeze, so the organic chemistry of its atmosphere could reveal something about the origins of life on Earth.

If the probe stays in contact after landing as hoped, another set of instruments will have a couple of hours to get to work on the surface - still an enigma to planetary scientists. A device protruding beneath the probe will measure the force of landing, revealing whether Huygens has hit hard icy ground, something soft and squashy, or even a lake of liquid hydrocarbons.

Whatever they find there, it should make an interesting story for the space geeks (of which I am one). If it does indeed have the methane lakes (something many scientists visualize) then it would become quite profitable. Can you say, "chi-ching!" Selah!




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By Darnell Clayton • 1:08 AM • Email Post • •

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