Titan Odyssey Reveals Surface Pictures And Sounds Of Saturn’s Moon

The first images from the surface of Saturn’s giant moon Titan have been received by scientists following the successful landing of the Cassini spacecraft robot probe Huygens. Titan is larger than Mercury but smaller than Mars and freezing cold, around -180c. Spectrometer colour pictures are due over the coming days although there will not be any panoramic pictures from the surface.

More than 300 images have been received, that’s around half of what was planned; many are missing due to technical reasons. Images could show ice blocks and snowballs, signs of erosion with shorelines and boundaries between raised ground and flooded plains. The underlying surface at the landing site appears flat.

Audio engineers are analysing and listening to sounds from an onboard microphone that stores and compresses data for processing, perhaps of atmospheric wind, thunder or waves. Strange echoes were picked up at a high altitude during descent which are sometimes associated with clouds and birds on earth.

Digital audio recordings of sounds from Titan:

From the Planatary.org site:
"Among the four terrestrial bodies in our solar system that have atmospheres–Earth, Mars, Venus, and Titan–the Earth and Titan are the two most similar. Both are composed mostly of nitrogen, and they also have similar atmospheric pressure at the surface: Titan’s surface pressure is abotu 1600 millibars, compared to Earth’s 1013. So sounds on Earth and Titan will not be all that different. The thicker atmosphere should make Titan sounds a little louder–or, to put it another way, the same noises made on Titan and Earth would travel longer distances on Titan."
Listen to audio recordings of events during the Titan mission:

Saturn has often been used as a setting for science fiction books and films, notably in Arthur C. Clarke‘s novel version of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the film directed by Stanley Kubrick.

Jupiter’s moon, Europa, is the next place many scientists wish to visit because of the discovery of an ocean there.

Cassini-Huygens spacecraft mission resources:

Mars Exploration Rover Imagery:
Mars Movies:
Community threads on Titan mission:
Meaningless Meanderings?:

One response to “Titan Odyssey Reveals Surface Pictures And Sounds Of Saturn’s Moon

  1. Amazing. Absolutely amazing…that this story has received such poor coverage by the media.Our collective consciousness is incredibly unfocussed.

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