Feeds

ESA shows off Titanic views

Composite postcard from Saturnian moon

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The European Space Agency has released a new image of the surface of Titan. The composite shot, made from a jigsaw puzzle of 30 images, shows the moon from a height of around ten kilometres, just over a kilometre higher than Everest.

Composite image of Titan's surface taken during descent. Source: ESA

The pictures were actually snapped as the probe fell from an altitude of 13km to eight kilometres. The pictures are all at a resolution of 20m per pixel, and the area photographed extends out to 30 km, ESA says.

The mission has been hailed as a resounding success, with messages of congratulations being offered to ESA from all involved. NASA's chief administrator Sean O'Keefe said: "We're very proud of the Cassini-Huygens teams that helped to make this both an engineering and scientific victory."

The only blot on an otherwise unmarred landscape is the loss of one of the two data channels returning information to Cassini. The data loss means that only half the 700 hoped-for images have been returned to Earth.

Professor David Southwood, ESA's director of science, said that the problem was caused by human error, and was ESA's responsibility. An investigation into the failure has been launched.

Based on the initial results, scientists said the probe had landed on a solid-ish surface with a consistency of Creme Brulee. Colour images reveal the world to be dominated by its orange atmosphere, with hazy marmalade skies above a boulder strewn surface. ®

All the images from Huygen's descent can be found here.

Related stories

Huygens lands on Titan, and the data floweth
Huygens probe alive and kicking
Huygens: the countdown to splashdown
Huygens probe gets clean bill of health

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
OK Google, do I have CANCER?
Company talks up pill that would spot developing tumors
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.