Huygens: the top 10 discoveries at Titan
Huygens hitched a ride to the Saturn system during an epic, seven-year voyage attached to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. The final chapter of the interplanetary trek was a 21-day solo cruise toward the haze-shrouded moon. Plunging into Titan's atmosphere, the probe survived the hazardous 2 hour 27 minute descent to touch down safely on Titan's frozen surface.
|The Huygens experience: a simulation of the final part of Huygens' descent through Titan's atmosphere before it landed on the surface. Click here for video details. Credit: Animation: ESA-C. Carreau/Schröder, Karkoschka et al. (2012). Image from Titan's surface: ESA/NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Huygens continued to transmit back to Earth for another 72 minutes before contact was lost with Cassini as it dipped below the horizon. The stream of data provided a unique treasure trove of in situ measurements from the planet-sized satellite which scientists are still mining today. In the following articles we present 10 important results from the pioneering mission.