Friday, January 14, 2005

Happy Landings

I love it when science fiction spills over into real life.

Today, the $3billion Cassini space probe successfully landed the Huygens lander on the surface of Saturn's moon, Titan.

One of the very first photos returned, a shot from 10 miles above the surface, shows what looks like a shoreline and lots of drainage canals, not unlike California's coastal mountains. (Although, from 10 miles up, it does lack details, and remember, the surface temperature is somewhere around -200 degrees Fahrenheit, so it's likely there's no Caribbean tropicana down there.)

One of the first photos from the surface shows an unexpected rocky looking terrain, not unlike that of Mars.

Apparently this is not exactly what scientists were expecting. But then, nothing about exploring the out solar system has gone the way scientists expected. Every mission has completely re-written the books about planetary science. I think this one will too. I'm excited to see what else they find.

Oh, and Battlestar Galactica starts in 1 hour and 50 mins!

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