Friday, April 01, 2005

Exclusive: Life on Titan?


Update: okay, you caught me. Happy April Fools Day everyone!!

I have just recieved this image from a DISR team member who wished to remain nameless. This shows 10 images taken using the Side-looking imager on Huygens while it was on the surface. These images have thus far not been released to the public. During processing of these images, DISR team members noticed slight movements within some of the surface frames. At first this was brushed off as a processing artifact or a compression artifact, but the type of movement seen could not be removed with further processing. The first interpretation was that DISR maybe seeing evidence of fluid flow at the landing site. But the GCMS results showed that there could not have been standing liquid on the surface and certainly not enough to explain the anomaly's appearance on the stone less than a meter away. Based on the behavior of the feature, one interpretation that has been put forth and that will be presented in two weeks at an ESA Press Briefing, is that the bright feature seen in these SLI images is some form of life on the surface of Titan. Based on the shape and behavior, it appears that the creature maybe some kind of worm, either attracted to the heat given off by Hugyens or frightened of it, given both its approach to the probe and its seeming hiding within the crack of a stone a meter away. In the last frame, two other bright spots appear, perhaps suggesting a number of creatures.

If confirmed through further processing, this could be one of the largest discoveries in the history of human exploration of the solar system.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Natureboy said...

Hehe.. Nice one. :)

4/01/2005 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Bruce Moomaw said...

Jason, you naughty boy. (I hope you caught the equally enthralling story at "Nature's" website about the shocking extent to which bacteria accidentally planted on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts have been eating huge, curiously round-looking holes in its surface.)

4/01/2005 10:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

April Fools', right? You had me going for a minute.

4/01/2005 10:14:00 AM  
Anonymous Pioneer said...

Nice try, you had me fooled for a minute.

4/01/2005 11:43:00 AM  

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