IMAGES: By the Light of a Coppery Moon

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Science  19 May 2006:
Vol. 312, Issue 5776, pp. 977
DOI: 10.1126/science.312.5776.977a

In January 2005, the Huygens space probe parachuted onto the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. Now you too can take the plunge, thanks to these new movies from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the University of Arizona, Tucson. The videos, the first to record the landing, condense several hours of data nabbed by the spacecraft's Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer. In one movie, the probe dives into a thick fog and then emerges over a rugged landscape that looks like it's made of copper. Viewers follow Huygens all the way to its touchdown in a dry riverbed, where it nestles among pebbles and lumps of ice. The second “bells and whistles” video adds a readout of the craft's trajectory and other data.

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