Sounds From Titan And New Images

January 16, 2005

ESA presents audio data collected by the Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument (HASI), which includes an acoustic sensor, during Huygens' descent, 14 January 2005. A couple of more pictures have been revealed.
On 14 January 2005 the Huygens mission finally became a reality. The probe made its successful descent through the atmosphere of Titan and to a landing on the surface of this distant moon. Scientists have revealed the their initial findings based on analysis of the Huygens data.

1. Speeding through Titan's haze
This recording is a laboratory reconstruction of the sounds heard by Huygens' microphones. Several sound samples, taken at different times during the descent, are here combined together and give a realistic reproduction of what a traveller on board Huygens would have heard during one minute of the descent through Titan's atmosphere.
Listen: acoustic during descent

2. Radar echos from Titan's surface
This recording was produced by converting into audible sounds some of the radar echoes received by Huygens during the last few kilometres of its descent onto Titan. As the probe approaches the ground, both the pitch and intensity increase. Scientists will use intensity of the echoes to speculate about the nature of the surface.
Listen: radar conversion

More images:

This composite was produced from images returned by ESA's Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. It shows a full 360-degree view around Huygens. The left-hand side, behind Huygens, shows a boundary between light and dark areas. The white streaks seen near this boundary could be ground 'fog' of methane or ethane vapour, as they were not immediately visible from higher altitudes. As the probe descended, it drifted over a plateau (centre of image) and was heading towards its landing site in a dark area (right). This dark area is possibly a drainage channel which might still contain liquid material. From the drift of the probe, the wind speed has been estimated at around 6-7 metres per second. These images were taken from an altitude of about 8 kilometres with a resolution of about 20 metres per pixel. Credits: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona

Titan Spectral Radiometer

This image was returned by ESA's Huygens probe during its successful descent to land on Titan. This is the coloured view, following processing to add reflection spectra data, gives a better indication of the actual colour of the surface. Initially thought to be rocks or ice blocks, they are more pebble-sized. The two rock-like objects just below the middle of the image are about 15 centimetres (left) and 4 centimetres (centre) across respectively, at a distance of about 85 centimetres from Huygens. The surface is darker than originally expected, consisting of a mixture of water and hydrocarbon ice. There is also evidence of erosion at the base of these objects, indicating possible fluvial activity. Credits: ESA/NASA/University of Arizona

Source: ESA, NASA

Explore further: Scientists prepare for Huygens descent on Titan

Related Stories

Scientists prepare for Huygens descent on Titan

January 4, 2005

University of Arizona scientists, working on one of the most stunning robotic space missions ever attempted, head for Germany next week. Their experiments ride on the Huygens probe to Saturn's giant moon, Titan, part of ...

Huygens lands with a splat

January 18, 2005

Although Huygens landed on Titan's surface on 14 January, activity at ESA's European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, continues at a furious pace. Scientists are still working to refine the exact location of ...

How the world watched Huygens

July 27, 2006

As Huygens parachuted to the surface of Titan in January 2005, a battery of telescopes around the world were watching or listening. The results of those observations are now being collected together and published for the ...

Huygens probe ready to detach from Cassini mother craft

December 24, 2004

After a seven-year and 3.2 billion km journey from Earth to Saturn, ESA’s Huygens probe, travelling on board NASA’s Cassini mother craft and powered through an umbilical cable, is now ready to separate and continue its ...

In Depth: Tide out on Titan? A soft solid surface for Huygens

November 30, 2005

The Surface Science Package (SSP) revealed that Huygens could have hit and cracked an ice ‘pebble’ on landing, and then it slumped into a sandy surface possibly dampened by liquid methane. Had the tide on Titan just gone ...

Recommended for you

Giant radio flare of Cygnus X-3 detected by astronomers

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—Russian astronomers have recently observed a giant radio flare from a strong X-ray binary source known as Cygnus X-3 (Cyg X-3 for short). The flare occurred after more than five years of quiescence of this source. ...

Cosmic dust found in city rooftop gutters

December 7, 2016

(Phys.org)—A small team of researchers with Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum in London, Project Stardust in Norway and Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium, has found samples of cosmic dust in the ...

ANU invention to inspire new night-vision specs

December 7, 2016

Scientists at The Australian National University (ANU) have designed a nano crystal around 500 times smaller than a human hair that turns darkness into visible light and can be used to create light-weight night-vision glasses.

Dark matter may be smoother than expected

December 7, 2016

Analysis of a giant new galaxy survey, made with ESO's VLT Survey Telescope in Chile, suggests that dark matter may be less dense and more smoothly distributed throughout space than previously thought. An international team ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.