I can't find any other picture of the Titan surface from the Huygens probe than this one

Are there any? Are they not disclosed on purpose?

If this is the only one taken, why?

Titan surface http://i.picresize.com/images/2016/11/17/uXaDQ.jpg


2 Answers 2


One second of googling reveals the whole archive:

(note you can click onto the strips to inspect them!)
The archive depicts the whole decent of the Huygens lander onto Titan, with the first picture being on the ground, and some of them seem to be taken from higher up altitudes, pages 17-27 you can see the flow deltas) The three pictures per strip show the views of the three cameras into different directions.

However the location on the planet doesn't change, just the viewing angle around the spacecraft upon descent. This is because Huygens was a lander without any additional propulsion, as it was already considered to be a massive feat if the lander would make it to the surface at all.
Also a propulsion system would have been more expensive, and more or less useless, as the expected lifetime of the lander in Titan's atmosphere was a few hours, which happened to be true.

So summa summarum, from the final position in which the lander was fixed, yes this is the only picture of Titan's surface.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Usually I'm rather good at asking Google, I wasn't able to find this page so thanks a lot. Indeed I know it wasn't a rover, I thought about the decent, exactly what this page shows. $\endgroup$
    – René
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 13:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @René Just to add to this good answer, and you may already know this, but the extreme conditions on the surface caused Huygens to die almost immediately after landing. We really only got back pictures of the descent and a few pictures on the ground before the lander died. $\endgroup$
    – zephyr
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 16:48

As an aside, on its descent Cassini was supposed to receive Huygens' signal over two channels, but because of an operational commanding error, only one channel was used. Unfortunately only 350 pictures were received on the way down instead of 700 that were expected. More details here.


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