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Huygens images show hints of flowing liquid
Posted: Sun, Jan 16, 2005, 11:09 AM ET (1609 GMT)
Huygens color image of Titan surface (ESA) Images and other data returned by ESA's Huygens probe show features suggesting of flowing liquid on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan. Huygens images released Saturday showed features that scientists said could be drainage channels and possibly a shoreline of lake. They cautioned, however, that a dark area that appeared to be a lake could instead be a hydrocarbon slush. The surface where Huygens landed appeared to be soft, with the probe penetrating about 15 centimeters into the surface before coming to rest. Project officials confirmed that one of two channels of data from Huygens were lost because controllers failed to properly configure the Cassini orbiter to record and relay those data. Most of the data was also transmitted on the other channel, but some images and all of the data from a wind experiment were lost. The wind data may be reconstructed, however, by radio telescopes on Earth that monitored Huygens' transmissions.
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