Feeds

ESA shows off Titanic views

Composite postcard from Saturnian moon

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

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

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.