Feeds

Cassini glimpses Titan's face

First surface features emerge

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The first pictures from Cassini's fly-by of Titan have been beamed back to Earth. The pictures reveal glimpses of surface features, with some clearly delineated dark and light areas tantalising the earth-bound scientists.

Picture from Cassini's titanic fly-by

According to Associated Press reports, NASA's imaging team leader, Carolyn Porco, described the pictures as "tantalising" for those studying the moon. Although nothing is certain yet, she speculated that the bright areas could be icy regions, rising out of a slushy area, "or maybe that's lava that's flowed and covered up some of the terrain and is forming the sharp shoreline-looking boundary".

The craft reached its closest approach to the cloudy moon at 17:44 BST yesterday and its data was received by NASA's deep-space network antenna in Madrid, nearly nine hours later.

These pictures were taken when Cassini was still more than 50,000 miles from Titan. It snapped the moon with its narrow field camera through an infra-red-sensitive filter, centered at 938 nanometers.

The surface emerges

This fly-by has not only provided scientists with their best ever views of the moon, but has changed Cassini's orbit of Saturn, shortening its period from four months to 48 days. The craft will make its next close approach to the moon on 13 December, and will release the European-built Huygens probe on Christmas day. ®

Related link

Images from the Cassini mission are posted here at the Ciclops (Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory fro Operations) website.

Related stories

Cassini gives Iapetus a wide berth
Cassini approaches Titanic flyby
Cassini finds two tiny Saturnian moons
Cassini eyeballs Saturnian lightning storms
Cassini runs rings round Saturn

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality
Life had just begun, code error means Russia's gone and thrown it all away
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.