Saturday, January 15, 2005

Three floppy disks

Like a mayfly, Huygens brief time has come and gone. Last night it descended through Titan's atmosphere and landed on whatever was under it, lasting for about seven hours against the cold. In process, it has shot about 750 images and collected enough data to fill three floppy disks. This sounds unimpressive compared to the prodigious output of probes like Viking or the Spirit rover, but it's a stunning success as far as the scientists are concerned - they were expecting to get only a single floppy from the whole exercise.

Now they get to pore over the data and find out what Titan - or at least that part of it that Huygens saw before it froze - is made of.

No pictures have been made available yet, but I'll be checking the ESA Cassini-Huygens site for details.


There are three raw images of the surface there now, two during descent and one on the ground.

Posted by Anonymous : 1/15/2005 01:51:00 PM