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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT
Huygens floating in the Titan night
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Huygens floating in the Titan night

January 15, 2005
This artist's rendition shows the Huygens probe floating in a methane/ethane lake on Titan. Hydrocarbons produced in the atmosphere eventually condense and rain down on the surface. So, Titan may have lakes of ethane and methane. Mountains of rock and ice are visible in the distance. In this night view, long after the probe mission is over, the surface of Titan is illuminated by sunlight reflected by Saturn and passing through Titan's thick atmosphere. To the human eye, the atmosphere is opaque, but in the infrared there are "windows" (or wavelengths) where the atmosphere is more transparent, as indicated in this artwork.

Image by Gregor Kervina, Ljubljana, Slovenia.