Landing on Titan's surface

December 16, 2004

This artist's rendition shows the Huygens probe as it reaches the surface of Titan. The Cassini spacecraft (top left corner of the image) flies over with its High Gain Antenna pointed at the probe. Saturn is seen in the background through Titan's thick atmosphere of methane, ethane and (mostly) nitrogen. Thin methane clouds dot the horizon, and a narrow methane spring or "methanefall" flows from the cliff at left and drifts mostly into vapor. Smooth ice features rise out of the methane/ethane lake, and crater walls can be seen far in the distance.

Image by David Seal.