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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Huygens has landed

This is a European Space Agency image from the ESA's webside taken on Friday Jan. 14, 2005, after the Huygens space probe beamed data including this image back to earth through its Cassini mothership orbiting Saturn's moon Titan. This is one of the first raw images returned by the ESA Huygens probe during its successful descent. It was taken from an altitude of 16.2 kilometers (about 10 miles) with a resolution of approximately 40 meters (about 131 feet) per pixel. It apparently shows short, stubby drainage channels leading to a shoreline. (AP Photo/European Space Agency/NASA

"Clearly there is liquid matter flowing on the surface of Titan," said scientist Marty Tomasko of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, which made the probe's camera...
"There aren't too many planets with liquid," Tomasko said. "There's Earth, and now there's Titan." -from Yahoo News

Good article showing how the probe descended through Titan's atmosphere can be found here in this BBC article (scroll to the bottom to see the animation).

I'm sorry, but I just find this all to be super cool.