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PN05/08: RAS CASSINI-HUYGENS MEETING

Last Updated on Monday, 12 April 2010 21:10
Published on Monday, 14 March 2005 00:00

Royal Astronomical Society Discussion Meeting:
The Cassini/Huygens Encounter with the Saturnian System

A Specialist Discussion Meeting on the Cassini/Huygens mission to explore the Saturnian System will be held on 11 March from 10:30 to 15:30. The meeting will take place in the Society of Antiquaries Lecture Theatre, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1.

Bona fide members of the media are invited to attend. No registration is required, although it would be helpful if anyone expecting to attend would inform one of the RAS Communications Officers (details above) in advance. Interviews may be arranged during the breaks or after the meeting.

To celebrate the phenomenal success so far of the Cassini/Huygens mission, this one-day scientific discussion meeting will summarise some of the key science results obtained so far for Saturn, its magnetosphere, rings and icy satellites as well as Titan, its surface and atmosphere.

On 1 July 2004 the Cassini/Huygens spacecraft went into orbit around Saturn, an event which marked the beginning of a 4-year exploration of Saturn, its rings, magnetosphere and atmosphere, its largest moon Titan, and some of the icy satellites; and on 14 January 2005 Europe's Huygens probe successfully landed on Titan.

Huygens revealed a frozen world, comparable in some ways to the Earth in its youth, where organic haze particles slowly drift down to cover a surface where the temperature is 180 degrees below zero. Methane rain showers fall onto icy continents, supplying methane rivers that flow into methane oceans.

The Cassini mission has already sent back startling infrared and radar images of Titan's hidden surface. It has also discovered several small moons, including one that is co-orbital with a larger satellite, waves and kinks in Saturn's beautiful rings, and raging storms beneath the planet's high level haze.

These and many other scientific results from this ground-breaking mission will be presented in the discussion meeting.

The speakers will include many representatives of the Cassini and Huygens instrument teams, including Professor David Southwood (ESA Director of Science); Professor John Zarnecki (PI for the Huygens Surface Science Package); Dr. Robert Brown (Team Leader of the Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer); Professor Carl Murray (Co-I for the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem); Dr. Michele Dougherty (PI for the Cassini dual technique magnetometer); Dr. Patrick Irwin (Co-I for the Cassini composite infrared spectrometer); and Dr. Andrew Coates (Co-I for the Cassini plasma electron spectrometer).

The programme includes:

10:05-10:30 M. Dougherty (Imperial College London): Cassini Magnetometer results from Saturn and Titan
10:30-10:55 A. Coates: (Mullard Space Science Laboratory/UCL): Plasma at Saturn and Titan: Results from CAPS
10:55-11:20 S. Cowley (Univ. of Leicester): Solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere interactions at Saturn: The big picture
11:20-11:45 T. Stallard (APL/UCL): Ground-based Cassini Support with Infrared Observations of the Aurora
11:45-12:10 D. Southwood (ESA): Huygens and Cassini in the ESA Programme
13:20-13:45 C. Murray (Queen Mary London): Results from the Cassini Imaging Science Subsystem (ISS) Experiment
13:45-14:15 R. Brown (LPL Arizona): Titan as seen by Cassini's Visible and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer
14:15-14:45 J. Zarnecki (Open University): Titan - The First "Views" from Huygens
14:45-15:00 D. Rothery (Open University): Geology and surface processes on Titan - insights from Cassini and Huygens images
15:00-15:25 P. Irwin (Oxford Univ.): The atmospheres of Saturn and Titan as revealed by Cassini CIRS
CONTACTS:

Dr. Ingo Mueller-WodargSpace and Atmospheric Physics GroupImperial College LondonTel: +44 (0)207-594 7674Mobile: +44 (0)7973-271816 Fax: +44 (0)207-594-7900E-mail: i.mueller-wodarg<-at->imperial.ac.uk Dr. Michele DoughertySpace and Atmospheric Physics GroupImperial College LondonTel: +44 (0)207-594-7757E-mail: m.dougherty<-at->ic.ac.uk
FURTHER INFORMATION:


Cassini Imaging Team - http://ciclops.org

NASA Cassini-Huygens - http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov

ESA Cassini-Huygens - http://saturn.esa.int/

UK Goes to the Planets - http://www.uk2planets.org.uk/


Date: 7th March 2005

Issued by Peter Bond, RAS Communications Officer.