This panorama was captured in 2005 as the Huygens probe plummeted through the thick nitrogen atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon. The Cassini spacecraft has since spotted lakes of ethane, making Titan the only world other than Earth known to have bodies of liquid on its surface. Methane and ethane rain down from the smoggy sky, forming vast hydrocarbon swamps.
Astrobiologists note that methane-eating microbes are found on Earth, and posit that similar life forms could evolve on Titan. Recent radar images from Cassini suggest that the moon may also have volcanoes that spew ice and frozen hydrocarbons, leading E.T.-hunters to speculate on how a subterranean heat source could aid the development of life.