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Cassini, JUICE and beyond

Monday 5th November 2018 @ 19:00

Non-Member: £12.00 ; Staff: £5.00 ; Student: £3.00


Michele Dougherty FRS CBE FRAS, Professor of Space Physics, Head of Department of Physics, Imperial College London.

Everyone is welcome to attend this open lecture.

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The Cassini mission to the moons of Saturn led to the discovery of water and hydrocarbons around Enceladus. Now Prof Dougherty is planning a visit to the icy moons of Jupiter opening up new possibilities in the search for life.

This lecture is out of this world...hear from a space explorer!

Prof Michele Dougherty was the Principal Investigator (PI) for the magnetometer instrument on the Cassini spacecraft. Prof Dougherty managed a team of about 40 scientists and an operations team to ensure sure they used the data effectively from this instrument.

For more than a decade, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shared the wonders of Saturn and its family of icy moons—taking us to astounding worlds where methane rivers run to a methane sea and where jets of ice and gas are blasting material into space from a liquid water ocean that might harbor the ingredients for life. Cassini revealed in great detail the true wonders of Saturn, a giant world ruled by raging storms and delicate harmonies of gravity.

Cassini carried a passenger to the Saturn system, the European Huygens probe—the first human-made object to land on a world in the distant outer solar system.
After 20 years in space—13 of those years exploring Saturn—Cassini exhausted its fuel supply. And so, to protect moons of Saturn that could have conditions suitable for life, Cassini was sent on a daring final mission that would seal its fate. After a series of nearly two dozen nail-biting dives between the planet and its icy rings, Cassini plunged into Saturn’s atmosphere on Sept. 15, 2017, returning science data to the very end.
With NASA's Cassini spacecraft now just a blur of molecules in Saturn's cloud tops, another gas giant is rotating into the crosshairs of the planetary exploration community.

Two more Jupiter missions are scheduled to launch in the next few years: NASA's Europa Clipper spacecraft, which will study the possibly habitable Jovian moon Europa;and the European Space Agency's (ESA) Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), which will investigate the giant planet and three of its four biggest moons (including Europa).

JUICE — ESA's first Jupiter effort — is scheduled to lift off in 2022.

The 1.5-billion-euro ($1.8 billion) mission will get to the solar system's largest planet in 2029. (JUICE will fly aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket, not the superpowerful SLS).

JUICE will study Jupiter's atmosphere and magnetic environment, and it will also investigate three of the planet's Galilean moons: Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. (The fourth Galilean moon — which are so named because they were discovered by Galileo Galilei, in 1610 — is the extraordinarily volcanic Io.)

Scientists think oceans of liquid water slosh beneath the icy shells of all three of these Jovian satellites. JUICE's observations should help researchers characterize these potentially habitable environments and better understand how they came to be, ESA officials have said.

Optionally followed by supper (this can be booked on the event booking form).
After the lecture a Friends' Table has been reserved at a local restaurant to entertain the speaker and for any of the audience who would like to join us to continue the evening's discussion. A two-course fixed price supper is served including wine, coffee and service charge.
Or if you have already booked for the event and now want to join us for supper Book Supper now

Venue: SAF Building, Imperial College London

Campus Map reference 33
on the Imperial College London Map