European Space Agency image from television, Friday, Jan. 14, 2005 after the Huygens space probe beamed data including this image back to earth through its Cassini mothership orbiting Saturn's moon Titan. The data are expected to shed light on what Titan's atmosphere and surface are made of, and possibly on the origins of life on Earth. (AP Photo/ ESA)
A European space probe Friday sent back the first detailed pictures of the frozen surface of Saturn's moon Titan, showing stunning black and white images of what appeared to be hilly terrain riddled with channels or riverbeds carved by a liquid.
One picture, taken about 10 miles above the surface as the Huygens spacecraft descended by parachute to a safe landing after a seven-year voyage from Earth, showed snaking, dark lines cut into the light-colored surface.
"Clearly there is liquid matter flowing on the surface of Titan," said scientist Marty Tomasko of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, which made the probe's camera.
He said the liquid appeared to be flowing into a dark area at the right side of the image. (cont.)