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Unmanned Spaceflight.com > Outer Solar System > Saturn > Cassini Huygens > Titan
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tedstryk
So is the U.S. But the difference is that the U.S. has been united much longer, politically at least.
Pando
QUOTE
It's landed in a bloody STREAM


I swear I saw a fish or two in there biggrin.gif
djellison
QUOTE (Pando @ Jan 15 2005, 12:35 AM)
QUOTE
It's landed in a bloody STREAM


I swear I saw a fish or two in there biggrin.gif

well - bits of ice - or bubble or whatever - but twice, something flows thru the scene without doubt.

Doug
Pando
How did you find that gif? blink.gif
Roby72
I wonder, if the microphone could hear bubble sounds of this flowing liquid near the probe ?? huh.gif
OWW
Are you sure you see a stream? All I see in that gif is that the probe is slightly 'shivering' but the white dots could be artifacts... Can you point the 'stream' out to us?

edit:
Ok, I see some white dots now in some images, but couldn't that be dustparticles blowing in the wind?
David
QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 15 2005, 12:32 AM)
It's landed in a bloody STREAM

Watch this carefully

You certainly could be right, though I'm not sure that the picture proves much more than that some areas of the rocky field are oddly flat. I thought when I first examined that image that we might be seeing bits of a dry stream bed; but if the liquid (methane?) is really as pellucid as all that, it would be hard to distinguish in a single image between rocks (ice?) seen through liquid and rocks seen through atmosphere.

The trick would be to see if there are any images that clearly show refraction. I don't know anything about the refractive properties of liquid methane, but I suppose there must be some. It's a pity we have no images of any part of the lander itself resting in or on the "stream" bed.
Pando
What's interesting to me in that gif file is not so much the moving artifacts, but what looks like atmospheric distortion (sort of like what you can see in a hot desert in the distance). Not sure if the effect is real or an artifact of some sort.
David
QUOTE (ObsessedWithWorlds @ Jan 15 2005, 12:52 AM)
Can you point the 'stream' out to us?

Here's my imaginative take on it:

Start 2/3 of the way up the image on the left side, where there's an interruption in the rocky field. Follow to the right and down toward the bottom of the image at an angle of about 20 degrees. There is there a broad flat area, which is free of rocks and can be imagined as a liquid pool. Now go back to the middle of the image on the same level, and go down toward the bottom at an angle of 40-50 degrees. Here the 'stream' appears to tumble over a rocky shelf until it hits the large pair of rocks, one horizontal and shaped like a snout, the other rounder and casting a bit of a shadow. The 'stream' flows around and through these rocks and spreads out in a pool below them and to the right. With a bit of imagination, you can see concentric ripples spreading out from the shadow-casting rock; the pool forms a sort of reversed L in a large part of the lower right hand corner.

Can you see it now? Or am I just making all that up? biggrin.gif
BruceMoomaw
The word I'm getting now (although I still have to confirm it) seems to be that Jeff Bell did not intend those comments to become public -- they were in an E-mail he sent to me and Simon Mansfield blowing off steam, and Simon jumped the gun and printed it as an article.

Yes, Bell goes overboard sometimes. But -- for whatever reason (which I suspect has more to do with worshipping bureaucracy than with worshipping aristocrats), ESA's PR policies are still consistently lousy and frustrating.

By the way, does anyone have a Web link to the second post-anding science press conference -- the one at which the first images were released (albeit for just a few seconds before the cameras turned back to the Suits)? I slept through the broadcast of that one, and haven't even been able to see it yet.
Sunspot
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Jan 15 2005, 01:24 AM)
The word I'm getting now (although I still have to confirm it) seems to be that Jeff Bell did not intend those comments to become public


I should think not rolleyes.gif rolleyes.gif
Pando
Here's another mirror for the raws:

http://mars.lyle.org/titan/raw/

Looking at it, does anyone have a tool to put them all running as a movie in sequence (with the descent), *especially* the frames with downward looking camera, which later on shows the light illuminating?
volcanopele
most of those rocks are on the neighborhood of 10-20 cm across, not boulders.
David
Any ideas on what to name those tiny little rivers? I'm thinking Ellison Creek, and Blackwell Rill, and...

Well, I'm sure all the bigger ones are going to be taken by the scientists and engineers who worked on this project, but there's got to be a few hundred thousand left over. wink.gif
BruceMoomaw
That's OK, David. They can name all those hundreds of thousands of others after all the bureaucrats who keep taking bows during the press conferences...

By the way, a few years Michael Swanwick wrote an SF mini-story on this theme. The guy officially assigned in the late 21st century to work out of a grubby little basement office and invent official names for every single one of the photographed particles of Saturn's rings finds an ancient derelict alien spaceship in there, and -- knowing that no one will ever, ever reexamine his files of photos and accompanying names -- officially names it "Youshouldhavepaidmemore" and then files and forgets it.
BruceMoomaw
Speaking of lousy press coverage, have you seen NASA TV's schedule? After exactly one more report on Huygens -- namely, coverage of a 1-hour ESA press conference tonight -- NASA TV will drop Cassini/Huygens completely and go back to full-time coverage of the [extremely bad word] Space Station instead.
volcanopele
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Jan 14 2005, 07:33 PM)
Speaking of lousy press coverage, have you seen NASA TV's schedule? After exactly one more report on Huygens -- namely, coverage of a 1-hour ESA press conference tonight -- NASA TV will drop Cassini/Huygens completely and go back to full-time coverage of the [extremely bad word] Space Station instead.

will c-span cover this press conference? Very bad cable at home (blame my landlady)
NorbertGiesinger
Re: they can name all those hundreds of thousands of others after all the bureaucrats who keep taking bows during the press conferences...

good idea ! The Buhlmann river (or creek or arroyo...!?)

But in earnest:
The german minister for Science, Mrs. Buhlmann (yes the lady in the middle of the press conference), is a quite dangerous lady in terms of space policy. She is a severe not to say a furious opponent of manned space flight and strictly against a german participation in the Aurora (manned mars planning) program.

There was a quite sharp question in this context during the press conference without an answer from Buhlmann.
Decepticon
Looking at the Raw data did huygens see ground later on during the decent?

Alot of the pics was smog.



Another question why are the raw pics so small?
snake
>>Decepticon asked: Another question why are the raw pics so small?

The CCD's are small:

HiRes = 160x256 pixels
MedRes = 176x256 pixels
Side Imager = 128 x 256 pixels

source:

http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fbodylongid=734
gpurcell
It DID land in a stream! Look at the large rock on the left bottom of the animated GIF. You can CLEARLY see water lapping over the top!

Did we get a temperature reading at "sea level" yet?
Pando
QUOTE
You can CLEARLY see water lapping over the top!


Well, if it really is liquid, at -292 degrees Fahrenheit (-180 Celsius) it's anything but water...
alan
I see lots of bright point sources in the "island chains" Could these be active volcanos?
gpurcell
What I am wondering is whether we have a true ground temperature recorded yet, or if the -180 C is from earlier modeling.

Mistyped "water" for "liquid"...Sorry!
Pando
Here is another cool resource for images:

http://anthony.liekens.net/index.php/Main/Huygens
slinted
some new DISR images / mosaics from the ESA press conference :
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygen...C8Q71Y3E_0.html
chris
I think that one of more of the cameras may be in the liquid. Two obvious bubbles:

One is visible the the bottow left hand corner of the medium res frames (the middle frame). It is there for two frames:

http://mars.lyle.org/titan/raw/triplet.897.jpg
http://mars.lyle.org/titan/raw/triplet.901.jpg

and then vanishes. Compare with this one:

http://mars.lyle.org/titan/raw/triplet.895.jpg

I also think that the high res camera is seeing an out-of focus bubble against its lens for a while. Its harder to see, as the image is overexposed by the light.

For example, at the bottom left of this image:

http://mars.lyle.org/titan/raw/triplet.951.jpg

Here is a shot of the camera lenses in relation to each other, for reference:

http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/spacecraft/imag...ensor-front.jpg
djellison
Nasa didnt even wait for that Press Conf to finish. They got bored of people talking about the first ever science data from the surface of titan - and cut to some B-Roll of people installing RCC onto a Shuttle.

Nice one

Doug
Sunspot
There's an updated programm about Titan on BBC2 at 2.20pm
OWW
Maybe it will be archived here later:
http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Cassini-Huygens/index.html
djellison
QUOTE (Sunspot @ Jan 15 2005, 11:36 AM)
There's an updated programm about Titan on BBC2 at 2.20pm

I will be watching and will transcribe any cool-ness. They showed the impactor force graph on the program last night - might be something new and cool today

Doug
BruceMoomaw
From Simon Mansdfield: "Have we caused a strike or go-slow -- or is this clown a failed poet? Did you catch that there will be no release of data other than off the video feed? Maybe they'll dump something to Web -- but for now pass the bucket."

While we're on the subject of cretinism in space agencies:

(1) While the ESA scientitic press conference was very well-constructed (no bureaucrats seizing the cameras this time), NASA TV cut it off after 75 minutes -- right while Tomasko was answering a reporter's question -- to resume its Regular Schedule of video clips (specifically, yet another replay of the Deep Impact launch and a speech by Fred Gregory)! Christ. (David Southwood, by the way, actually burst into tears during his talk.)

(2) It turns out that the loss of Channel A on Huygens was not due to any malfunction -- someone at ESA failed to write the software command for Cassini to listen for that Channel! Half the planned 700 descent photos were indeed lost due to this (leading to "holes in the panoramas", according to Tomasko) -- although he says "there was a lot of overlap." (The Doppler wind data can apparently be reconstructed in full from the very good ground-station measurements.) Once again, failure of software rather than hardware is being revealed as one of the major Achilles' Heels in our technological civilization.

As for the science data: it was VERY preliminary, but the following items spring out:

(1) Other than the Channel A goof-up, everything apparently worked perfectly -- one of the 9 sensors on the Surface Science Package stopped working for 3.5 minutes after landing, but then resumed.

(2) The sound recording from the microphone, which was played back, showed virtually no noises other than the wind rushing past the probe during descent -- and the noise from the collection pump for the Aerosol Pyrolyzer switching on and off on time.

(3) Titan seems to be a moist world rather than a wet one. The penetrometer did indeed record what seems to be a thin surface crust with something underneath it the consistency of "clay or wet sand", into which the penetrometer sank 15 cm. There was no mention at all of any liquid seen on the surface -- instead, the dark stuff around those ice chunks on the surface seems to have gaps a little downstream of them. All this suggests, as Tomasko said, that we're looking at surface "soil" which has been softened by liquid trickling along and into it through those drainage channels at a slow pace. (This, in my opinion, may not be all that surprising if Titan's regolith is indeed porous, since the production rate of both liquid ethane and solid organics in the atmosphere is supposed to be very low -- those channels were probably carved over geologically long times by little trickles of liquid, which at some point then tends to soak back into the surface, maybe leaving a residue of dark solid organic stuff behind in the "lakebeds".)

(4) However, there does seem to be a fair amount of atmospheric moisture, in the form of methane/ethane aerosols. The only GCMS data released yet is methane measurements, which took a sudden uptick at about 15-20 km (at 0.5 bars pressure), suggesting a cloud layer -- and the GCMS heated inlet, after landing, also showed signs that liquid methane was being evaporated out of the soil into the instrument. And that intriguing whitish band along the "shoreline" in the sideways DISR photos of it turns out to be invisible when seen from above -- raising, to quote Tomasko, the possibility that the whitish band is actually a strip of methane or ethane ground fog along the "lakebed's" edge.

(5) The first spectrally colorized post-landing photo of the surface was released by Tomasko. Big surprise: both the ground and (to a lesser extent) the sky are orange. However, his spectra of the surface just before landing show it to be mostly water ice, with a surprisingly small amount of hydrocarbons mixed in. Once again, we seem to be looking at a moist world rather than a wet one: one featuring slow, small trickles of precipitated liquid which carve out those channels only very slowly.

I'll listen to my recording of the press conference again to see if I've overlooked something -- there were a few numbers for wind speed and surface temperature which I haven't mentioned here. Meanwhile, there may be be some kind of wrap-up broadcast on NASA TV at 9 AM Pacific time tomorrow morning after all, although I'm trying to confirm this.
centsworth_II
QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 15 2005, 06:17 AM)
Nasa didnt even wait for that Press Conf to finish.

Maybe lost satalite link?
Maybe same problem that lost "chain A" data from Huygens?
BruceMoomaw
Nope -- an official notice was flashed: "Coverage of the press conference is completed."


However, ESA has reprinted some of the press conference data after all -- although none of the graphs: http://sci.esa.int/science-e/www/object/in...fobjectid=36369 .
David
QUOTE (BruceMoomaw @ Jan 15 2005, 11:57 AM)
(2) It turns out that the loss of Channel A on Huygens was not due to any malfunction -- someone at ESA failed to write the software command for Cassini to listen for that Channel! Half the planned 700 descent photos were indeed lost due to this

I'm having a hard time comprehending this. Are we to understand that they never tested the communications between Cassini and Huygens before deploying Huygens? I'm no engineer, but I thought that engineers were in the business of testing stuff. It seems that we've narrowly missed another "Beagle" -- how easily it might have been the case that both channels were lost.
djellison
iirc - Huygens couldnt be tested whilst bolted to the side of Cassini because the lack of dopler would put the two out of tune

But - they did test the Huygens Relay equipment by transmitting a simulated huygens signal which cassini sucefully recorded and relayed back.

Doug
BruceMoomaw
To repeat: apparently the problem is that someone at ESA failed to include, in the set of Cassini software commands for the Titan encounter itself, the command that would actually allow Cassini to receive Channel A telemetry. (Channel A had worked perfectly on previous in-flight tests.) David Southwood stated twice that the failure was ESA's -- not NASA's -- and promised an investigation.
David
Thanks, Bruce. I just assumed that they would have used the same set of commands that they would have used during tests, and that if not, then this was the first time they'd used these commands because they hadn't even done tests. Thanks for setting me straight.
David
It seems that the surface of Titan is a very, very quiet place. I didn't even hear crickets chirping. unsure.gif
tedstryk
Am I correct in assuming that the jpeg artifacts are an actual characteristic of Huygens transmission? Also, after my comments about ESA yesterday, I still stand by the fact they did a terrible PR job. Just like NASA, with O'Keefe using it to plug the Shuttle/Station, and then cutting away from a press conference to show the Deep Impact launch again.
Roby72
I miss probe images of heights under 1km..anyone know about this images with resolutions of about 20cms ? Did show it nothing, because boulders are smaller ?
Roby72
or are they lost in the death channel ? sad.gif
Roby72
Currently Tomasko refer only to images taken in 8km and 16m, the images taken higher in the atmosphere do not show much, because of the fog layer in about 20km. This layer was mentioned in the news conference a few hours ago.
Ive added a table of the planned image cycles which I found in a PDF document of the Descent Trajectory Working Group (DTWG). I suspect the mosaics in 13.7 and 11km heigth are lost due the channel problem, also the deeper cycles below 8km. Other explanations ?
BruceMoomaw
Another theory about the drainage channels: since the heated inlet on Huygens' GCMS managed to evaporate at least traces of what seems to be liquid methane out of the local water-ice "soil" in one of dark "lakebed" drainage areas, is it possible that there are occasional methane rainstorms that reach the surface on Titan and carve those channels? In that case, the channels would be arroyos, usually but not always dry. We might be looking at an eerie analog of one of Earth's deserts. (And this may be more plausible that assuming that just the extremely slow, faint downfall of radiation-produced liquid ethane was enough to carve them -- that rain by itself would be so slow that the liquid might well just soak directly down into the regolith as soon as it struck the surface.)
djellison
From the BBC program - about 95% repeat from last nights program, 4% the images we've already seen,

The probe is resting at about 12 degrees from Horez - perhaps resting on one of the little pebbles.

Temperature profile - similar to the earth - there's a minimum temp at altitude of -200 deg c - and warm up by about 20 degrees on the ground

Sonar - evidence of echos at height - possibly clouds laden with liquid -

And that's it

Doug
DEChengst
QUOTE (djellison @ Jan 15 2005, 02:50 PM)
Sonar - evidence of echos at height - possibly clouds laden with liquid -

That Open University guy was wondering what on Earth could cause that. I think it's more interesting to know what on Titan caused it smile.gif
Decepticon
I fing it funny they call the images Hi-Res images when they look like Tumbs to me.
Decepticon
Has anyone tried to stack the images? (Ground Images)

I have no clue how its done.


Maybe that will clean up the images.
BruceMoomaw
ESA confirms it screwed up Cassini software: http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/huyge...ate_050115.html . Thank God they didn't screw up the instructions for BOTH channels. Still, it's no worse than Lockheed Martin designing all four of the parachute switches for Genesis upside down. Once again, it's becoming clear that nowadays design error -- including software error -- now causes more malfunctions than random manufacturing mistakes do, and it's high time that a lot of businesses besides spcecraft builders realized this.

I will try to find out just what DISR images actually were lost as a result of this screwup, but I make no promise that I can do so in the immediate future.
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