Friday, May 05, 2006

Titan, the Death Moon

If you’ve been following the news about space then you know that last year the Cassini Probe launched its Huygens aspect into Titan, one of the 35 named moons of Saturn. As it descended the Huygens probe snapped pictures, listened to the wind and tested the atmosphere. If you remember the moon had an eerie orange tint because of the Nitrogen haze. The atmosphere is like thick smog that covers most of our cities but much worse. Not something you’d like to see on any day in Los Angeles. Titan’s atmosphere is so thick that scientists originally calculated the planet’s size much higher than it actually is. At the surface the temperature is about –270 F. This allows Methane to run as water and has cut deep channels and islands out of the surface much like water does on earth. This makes for a very haunting and harrowing environment, not much suitable for humans unless you were wearing a very durable spacesuit. The effect would probably be much like our mythological visions of Hades, dark, cold, lonely and deadly.

Space is cold and they can’t hear you scream. My previous post was about the Death Star. Well, this is the Death Moon.

A new clip came out from American and European Space Agency on the internet showing the Huygen’s point of view of its landing on Titan. The movie was stitched together from over 3500 images taken by Huygens on its decent to the surface. Though the actual landing took over 147 minutes the movie clip is a little over 4 minutes.

See the movie here:


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