Planetary science: Huygens rediscovers Titan

@article{Owen2005PlanetarySH,
  title={Planetary science: Huygens rediscovers Titan},
  author={Tobias C. Owen},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2005},
  volume={438},
  pages={756-757}
}
  • T. Owen
  • Published 2005
  • Geology, Medicine, Chemistry
  • Nature
The first analyses of data sent by the Huygens probe from Saturn's largest moon Titan are flooding in. They paint a picture of a ‘Peter Pan’ world — potentially like Earth, but with its development frozen at an early stage.New views of TitanThe Huygens probe landed on Titan on 14 January this year, and seven papers published in this issue record the encounter. They describe a world that resembles a primitive Earth, complete with weather systems and geological activity. The ‘Huygens on Titan… Expand
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THE YEAR 2005 will be remembered in the history of space exploration for the first landing of a probe on a surface in the outer solar system - on 14 January, the Huygens probe landed on the surfaceExpand
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Models of the protosatellite disk of Saturn: Conditions for Titan’s formation
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Question 2: Why an Astrobiological Study of Titan Will Help Us Understand the Origin of Life
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TLDR
Titan, the largest satellite of Saturn and the only planetary body with an atmosphere similar to that of the Earth is one of the places of prime interest for these astrobiological questions. Expand
Titan: An exogenic world?
Abstract All landforms on Titan that are unambiguously identifiable can be explained by exogenic processes (aeolian, fluvial, impact cratering, and mass wasting). Previous suggestions ofExpand
Valley formation and methane precipitation rates on Titan
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An overview of the descent and landing of the Huygens probe on Titan
TLDR
An overview of the Huygens mission is reported, which enabled studies of the atmosphere and surface, including in situ sampling of the organic chemistry, and revealed an Earth-like landscape. Expand
Rain, winds and haze during the Huygens probe's descent to Titan's surface
TLDR
Spectra and high-resolution images obtained by the Huygens Probe Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer instrument in Titan's atmosphere reveal the traces of once flowing liquid, and like Earth, the brighter highland regions show complex systems draining into flat, dark lowlands. Expand
The abundances of constituents of Titan's atmosphere from the GCMS instrument on the Huygens probe
TLDR
Direct atmospheric measurements from the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GCMS), including altitude profiles of the constituents, isotopic ratios and trace species (including organic compounds), were reported, confirming the primary constituents were confirmed to be nitrogen and methane. Expand
Imaging of Titan from the Cassini spacecraft
TLDR
Observations of Titan from the imaging science experiment onboard the Cassini spacecraft reveal intricate surface albedo features that suggest aeolian, tectonic and fluvial processes, and imply that substantial surface modification has occurred over Titan's history. Expand
A soft solid surface on Titan as revealed by the Huygens Surface Science Package
TLDR
Measurements made just above and on the surface of Titan by the Huygens Surface Science Package reveal a relatively smooth, but not completely flat, surface surrounding the landing site. Expand
The vertical profile of winds on Titan
TLDR
A high resolution vertical profile of Titan's winds is reported, with an estimated accuracy of better than 1 m s-1, providing in situ confirmation of superrotation on Titan. Expand
Chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere
Abstract The chemistry and evolution of Titan's atmosphere is reviewed in the light of the scientific findings from the Voyager mission. It is argued that the present N2 atmosphere may be Titan'sExpand
The composition and origin of Titan's atmosphere
Abstract The discovery that Titan had an atmosphere was made by the identification of methane in the satellite's spectrum in 1944. But the abundance of this gas and the identification of other majorExpand
Photochemistry and evolution of Mars' atmosphere: A Viking perspective
Viking measurements of the Martian upper atmosphere indicate thermospheric temperatures below 200oK, temperatures much colder than those implied by remote sensing experiments on Mariner 6, 7, and 9Expand
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TLDR
A mixture of three basic types of comets appears capable of accounting for the observed volatile inventories on Venus, Earth, and Mars, with the caveat that impact erosion is necessary to explain the present condition of the martian atmosphere. Expand
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