Cassini Huygens – 23rd May 2002

Brijen Hathi from the Open University gave us a talk on the Cassini Huygens mission. He described in some detail the instruments on the Huygens lander, and showed some recent Hubble images of Titan. Earlier guesses that the probe might land in an ocean dictated that some of the surface science instruments be capable of analysing its constituents, expected to be mostly ethane and ethanol. Hubble’s new images suggest that there are oceans on Titan, but that they’re a long way from the place the probe is expected to land. They appear to show some high solid ground at that location, so the probe may have a hard landing after its slow decent through Titan’s atmosphere.

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