You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Titan “Shoreline” Image

Also in the department of older images never posted here is this revision of the Titan “shoreline” image returned by the Huygens probe which landed on the moon in January 2005. It is referred to as a shoreline image largely because of its appearance and the fact that scientists actually anticipated seeing either lakes or oceans from the Huygens landing. Despite the fact that this image is not an actual shoreline where land meets liquid, you can easily see multiple drainage channels cutting through the land masses leading up to the “edge”. Easily the most “Earthlike” image of another planet/moon ever taken in my opinion.

Titan “Shoreline” Image Update

We did later find that Titan does host a large amount of hydro-carbon lakes in it’s northern polar regions (and a smaller amount in the south) but unfortunately for us, we were not aware of that fact and Huygens did not land in that region.

In addition to the above work René Pascal also generated many fantastic views of what the surface of Titan may have actually looked to Huygens during its descent based upon the data sent back. They appeared in Le Figaro magazine and I am trying to get my hands on a copy before posting more on those images. They are really gorgeous.

7 Responses to “Titan “Shoreline” Image”

  1. Bill Says:

    This is the best Titan pano I’ve seen. Thanks for posting it.

    I haven’t been able to figure something out - why was the camera on Huygens so, well, crappy? A once-in-a-lifetime visit, and all we get are these smudgy aerial shots and one narrow color image from the surface. What was with that?

  2. Gordan Says:

    Two words: mass and bandwidth.

  3. Bill Says:

    Makes sense.

    I wonder if we’ll go back there in my lifetime.

  4. thomas Says:

    i think we will see another mission there in our lifetimes (assuming we are all under 60). the next US flagship mission to the outer solar system will either be Europa, Titan or Neptune from what i have seen. i’m hoping europa, but maybe if NASA goes for Europa the europeans will adopt Titan the way the Soviets did Venus in the 60’s & 70’s. i know ESA hasn’t the muscle to go beyond Mars at this point, but maybe that will change.

  5. Gordan Says:

    I’m kind of torn between Europa and Titan. I really wish an Europa mission finally gets off the ground after many canceled attempts so we can finally characterize the underground ocean. On the other hand, Titan appears to be so fascinating I’d almost give it precedence over Europa. Almost but not quite.

    I sure won’t be disappointed if the next flagship winds up at Titan, but I feel it’s still too early to be sending another probe there when Cassini still hasn’t finished investigating that place (I know it will be finished by the time a flagship flies, but our requirements might change in the meantime based on what Cassini discovers in the future). Europa, on the other hand, has been put off long enough that it’s high time we went back there. I WANT to know what’s beneath that ice!

  6. Bill Says:

    “I WANT to know what’s beneath that ice!”

    Thrice amen. Every time yet another lunar probe is announced, I think - no let’s head to Jupiter NOW!

  7. thomas Says:

    me tooooooo. i think if i had only $100 to spend on some missions… i’d put $20 to Titan, $10 to Neptune and $70 to Europa. it may not be as geologically interesting on the surface as Titan, but… there *could* be life in there.

    hopefully my $100 would pay for lunch.

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