Artwork of Huygens probe separating

Artwork of Huygens probe separating

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Credit: NASA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: This artists conception of the Cassini spacecraft shows the Huygens probe separating to enter Titans atmosphere. After separation, the probe drifts for about three weeks until reaching its destination, Titan. Equipped with a variety of scientific sensors, the Huygens probe will spend 2-2.5 hours descending through Titans dense, murky atmosphere of nitrogen and carbon-based molecules, beaming its findings to the distant Cassini orbiter overhead. The probe could continue to relay information for up to 30 minutes after it lands on Titans frigid surface, after which the orbiter passes beneath the horizon as seen from the probe.

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