Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Saturday, January 15, 2005

The Latest from Titan

posted by Jazz at 1/15/2005 09:28:00 AM

NOTE: YOU ARE VIEWING AN ARCHIVED POST AT RUNNING SCARED'S OLD BLOG. PLEASE VISIT THE NEW BLOG HERE.

Big thanks to Ron for pointing out this site where you can get the latest updates as the data from the Cassini-Huygens probe is processed. There are hundreds of pictures for them to process, and they'll likely be coming in over the next several days. I can't help myself... I'm blown away by this. We've been wondering about the planet Titan as long as I can remember reading about it. (And while it is technically a moon, it really deserves to be called a "planet" since it is larger than some of the other true planets in our solar system and has an atmosphere thicker than Earth's.) To see this type of technological achievement, and be able to actually see through the clouds and listen to the wind and the storms gives me a feeling of awe.

They seem to have very solid bandwidth capabilities, so I won't highjack any of their content over here. Rather, I'll just point you to a couple of my personal favorites if you don't want to chase through the entire site.

First, my favorite picture so far. I know that nothing there is in liquid form, but if that doesn't look like a mountainous coast dropping down to an ocean shore, I don't know what does.

Second, and far more haunting in my opinion, is an audio file taken from the microphones of Huygens as it descended out of the clouds and into the clear atmosphere of Titan. The wind levels rise and fall, and I could swear you can hear thunder in the distance. I got chills listening to these sounds from an alien world.

Enjoy. I know I am. And we should all take a moment and thank George W. Bush for authorizing this amazing, first of its kind mission to... (Oh.... wait a minute.... that was Clinton. Never mind.)