Apparently these are from the low res landing camera. From what they say:
...these are raw images from the descent camera. The descent camera is the lowest resolution camera on-board.
The other cameras on board are high-res, science/engineering quality. Nothing's been released from those cameras yet.
During the interview, the mission scientists acknowledged over 350 images so far, with 'astounding clarity.' The best is, by far, yet to come.
How cool is that! They didn't even know what to expect: would the probe survive? Is the surface solid? (The probe could have dealt with floating they say, but they sounded not real sure that it would even survive landing.
From what I saw on the news, they were just hoping it'd survive long enough during hte descent to snap some shots and analyze the atmosphere a bit. But it survived landing on solid ground and sent back a bunch of data and pics. Of course the battery, by the time it landed only had a few (they estimated) minutes of life left, but that's enough to take a bunch of pics and do some quick analysis of the surface.
Anyway, this is very cool! Not to mention those hearty martian rovers are still chugging along...
I was going to say, "Where's the obelisk?", but then I remembered that it's Jupiter's moons in 2010, not Titan. Still very cool to see successful space missions. I keep hoping that events like these and Spaceship One, will give us that little kick start to more space involvement.
Top transmission rate is 250 kbs (depending on the current position and time of day, data rates can be as low as 5 bits/second). Signals take 1 to 1.5 hours to reach Earth on X-band at 8-ish GHz.
The Hyugens probe does take high res color images as well if I remember correctly. It shoots a B&W thumbnail prior to the full resolution color shot so immediate data can reach NASA while they wait for the huge pain in the ass downloads. This was explained to me a few years ago, but I think that was the gyst of it. That's why "first shots" we see are usually B&W... immediate satisfaction while waiting for the mother load. It's also so they can respond quickly if needed... i.e. Big ass alien trying to stomp on it.
A Mars Pathfinder probe would be faptacular right now.
I may be wrong about the color photography on Hyugens. The technology on that craft is at least 7 years old. They may have opted to keep it black and white only to save on power and limited uplink times. Hyugens does have a spectrum analysis device on board, so they may be able to mock up color on computer generated models based on that data. After further reading, I couldn't come up with anything conclusive. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but I can't be certain.
My initial "thumbnail" theory was used on the Mars missions, as they are only about 6 months from lift off to landing. Loads of battery time and short transmission make it easy to use modern gear. hell, they can use realtime video with a few minutes lag time to operate there.
It almost looks like mountains rising from a coastline of some sorts!
i agree, but at that distance from the sun any water would be in ice form because of the extreme low temp of the surface. So if it does have a coast it would have to be hydrogen, methane, or even argon ocean( im sure it could be other things but these are the 3 things i thought of offhand that would be in a liquid form at that temp). If it is one of the first two the possibility of it becoming a fueling station for deep space exploration is almost certain.
those pics are awesome... and why shouldn't it have a station to replenish needs? It could just have a space station orbit it. I think that would be nifty. Plus, safer in space verses an unknown climate.