Online SoVerA Meeting: The Cassini Mission to Saturn

January 12, 2021 @ 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Margot Kuhns Schmitt

Dr. Richard G. French, McDowell/Whiting Professor of Astrophysics at Wellesley College, will share an insider’s view of NASA’s Cassini mission to Saturn.

As a planetary astronomer and a founding member of NASA’s Cassini Science Team, Professor French was a witness to the earliest days of the mission in 1990 until its intentional crash into Saturn in 2017. He will describe the 14 years of preparation for the orbital tour that began in 2004 and highlight some of the spectacular science results of the multi-instrument mission.

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft orbited Saturn for 13 years, transforming our understanding of this beautiful ringed planet and its entourage of moons. From giant atmospheric storms on Saturn and methane seas on Titan, to icy plumes on Enceladus and density waves in Saturn’s rings created by the planet itself, the mission was filled with surprises and delights.

Dr. French received his undergraduate degree and his Ph.D. from Cornell University, where he studied under Carl Sagan.

Because of the collaborative efforts with Middlebury College, the Mittelman Observatory, and the Dublin School and the likelihood of a large attendance, registration is required.


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