The Huygens experience


A new rendering of Huygens descent and touchdown created using real data recorded by the probe’s instruments as it descended to the surface of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, on 14 January 2005.
The animation takes into account Titan’s atmospheric conditions, including the Sun and wind direction, the behaviour of the parachute (with some artistic interpretation only on the movement of the ropes after touchdown), and the dynamics of the landing itself. Even the stones immediately facing Huygens were rendered to match the photograph of the landing site returned from the probe, which is revealed at the end of the animation.
Split into four sequences, the animation first shows a wide-angle view of the descent and landing followed by two close-ups of the touchdown from different angles, and finally a simulated view from Huygens itself — the true Huygens experience.
This animation was released on the eighth anniversary of Huygen’s touchdown on Titan as a Space Science Image of the Week feature.

Animation: ESA–C. Carreau/Schröder, Karkoschka et al (2012). Image from Titan’s surface: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

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  1. Great animation. Cassini – Huygens…. what an amazing mission. IMHO the Huygens landing is the most far out thing we have ever achieved in space…Hᴜɢʜ….Lɪᴋᴇᴅ…..ツ

  2. I don't know why you persist in showing computer graphic renditions of the images you get from these places, and not just the images themselves. They are infinitely more interesting as they are real. Cut out the pretty animations and give us the real stuff. Sheesh this pisses me off.

  3. This is stunning, an amazing achievement beyond any belief.. If I try to contemplate on the effort and technology required, in order to make this happen 1,2 billion km away from Earth and succeed in every aspect with perfect accuracy, my head will explode.. Amazing work ladies and gentlemen of ESA and NASA, hats off to you! This is epic. Its a crying shame to see only 44.882 views here, where music video clips have millions within a few days. Its like the meme image about how many know Nikola Tesla vs Kim Kardashian. That says it all about our modern society.. Please keep up the good work and keep us up to date with stunning information and knowledge about our solar system and beyond. Greetings from Greece!

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