Using a global network of radio telescopes, scientists have measured the speed of the winds faced by Huygens during its descent through the atmosphere of Titan.
Huygens probe descending through Titans atmosphere
This measurement could not be done from space because of a configuration problem with one of Cassini’s receivers. The winds are weak near the surface and increase slowly with altitude up to about 60 km, becoming much rougher higher up where significant vertical wind shear may be present.
Preliminary estimates of the wind variations with altitude on Titan have been obtained from measurements of the frequency of radio signals from Huygens, recorded during the probe’s descent on 14 January 2005. These ‘Doppler’ measurements, obtained by a global network of radio telescopes, reflect the relative speed between the transmitter on Huygens and the receiver on the Earth.
Guido de Marchi | EurekAlert!
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