By Paul Rincon
BBC News science reporter in Darmstadt, Germany
Huygens captured more than 300 images on its descent
The Huygens space craft has sent back the first images of Saturn's moon Titan, showing what appears to be a shoreline of an oily ocean.
One stunning black and white image reveals what seem to be drainage channels on a land surface leading out into a dark body of liquid.
Another shows a flat surface that is apparently strewn with boulders.
Scientists said Huygens captured more than 300 images as it dived through the moon's atmosphere.
Speaking about the picture of an apparent shoreline, John Zarnecki, principal investigator for the surface science package (SSP) on Huygens said: "If it's not a sea, it could be a lake of tar. And did one see waves?"
The European Space Agency has released images captured from altitudes of 16.2km, 8km and one on the surface.
"The pictures just got better after we passed through the haze," said Marty Tomasko, who leads the probe's imaging team.
One of two data channels used to record measurements is thought not to have been working on Cassini. As a result, some images taken by Huygens may be missing.
The first colour view of Titan's surface from the Huygens probe
But the other channel had worked well, officials said.
The probe has been sending back data about the moon since it arrived on Titan - the furthest from Earth a spacecraft has ever landed.
Jean-Pierre Lebreton, mission manager for Huygens said the craft had been active for up to seven hours. He added this was probably down to good design keeping Huygens' instruments warmer than expected despite the temperatures of -179C outside.
"We might even have three floppy disks now," said Professor Zarnecki, referring to the previous assumption that the SSP would only collect enough data to fill a floppy disk.
He said the researchers were happy, but that more work was needed before they could say how successful the instrument's measurements of the surface had been.
1. HASI - measures physical and electrical properties of Titan's atmosphere
2. GCMS - identifies and measures chemical species abundant in moon's 'air'
3. ACP - draws in and analyses atmospheric aerosol particles
4. DISR - images descent and investigates light levels
5. DWE - studies direction and strength of Titan's winds
6. SSP - determines physical properties of moon's surface