Reflected ray To Cassini

(apparent)

The manner in which the radio signal from the Huygens probe was reflected by the ground enabled the character of the surface to be inferred.

A mosaic of images showing a system of channels cut by surface fluid draining from the (bright) elevated terrain onto the (dark) low-lying plain.

characterise the surface for some 2 kilometres westward of the landing site, showing it to be fairly level and littered - just as at the landing site.231 Analysis of the panoramic imagery taken during the descent revealed that while some of the dark channels on the bright terrain had a dendritic form that suggested they were cut by flowing surface fluid, the short stubby ones that joined at perpendicular angles were more probably produced by liquid flowing beneath the surface by the process of sapping. Overall, therefore, the site appeared to be the counterpart of a terrestrial desert that is usually, but not always, dry; with arroyo drainage onto a playa plain. Were the glints observed by the Arecibo radar from plains such as this? A reconstruction of the probe's descent based on observations by terrestrial radio telescopes and a comparison of the probe's own imagery with that taken by Cassini during fly-bys prior to and after the Huygens mission, enabled the landing site to be located within a radius of several kilometres centred on 192.4°W, 10.2°S, very near to the point predicted by the approach trajectory and atmospheric model.232,233

A mosaic of images showing a system of channels cut by surface fluid draining from the (bright) elevated terrain onto the (dark) low-lying plain.

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