Hooray for Huygens
This is exciting!
A European spacecraft plunged through the murky atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan today and successfully came to rest on a bizarre landscape of mystery never before explored....The European Space Agency has released the first-ever picture of Titan's surface. (Also on the NY Times article.) Very cool!
The first picture from the Huygens spacecraft did nothing to undermine the reputation of Titan as a strange and otherworldly place. The picture showed terrain of what appeared to be deep channels leading to the shoreline of a dark, flat surface, possibly one of Titan's hypothesized lakes of liquid methane.
When I was a boy I read that Cassini would be launched in 1998 and arrive in 2004. I thought that was ages and ages away and I could hardly wait. How quickly time flies...