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RAS Fellow honoured

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 December 2013 20:49
Published on Tuesday, 17 October 2006 00:00
Professor Michele Dougherty has been awarded the Institute of Physics's  2007 Chree Medal for her work on the international Cassini Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons.
The medal was awarded to Professor Dougherty, who was on the Council of the RAS between 2002-2003, for the discovery of a dynamic and exotic atmosphere around Enceladus, one of Saturn's icy moons. This discovery was made by Professor Dougherty's magnetometer team which has been investigating the ringed planet and its moons since reaching Saturn's orbit in July 2004. This  led to a lower level flyby of Enceladus by Cassini at 173 km, which enabled the majority of the other instruments on Cassini to observe geysers or plumes emanating from cracks in the moon's icy surface at the south pole, which create the previously undiscovered atmosphere.

Professor Dougherty said, "I am delighted to receive the Chree Medal in recognition of my team's work on the Cassini mission. The magnetometer team, which I lead is using Cassini to investigate many previously unexplored areas of the Saturnian system to try and answer some of the unsolved questions that remain about this giant planet. Currently we are looking into trying to understand Saturn's puzzling rotation rate, and observing previously unseen areas of the region surrounding the planet affected by storms which cause the northern and southern lights at the poles."

In addition Cassini-Huygens scientists have recently received further accolades.
The Cassini Huygens team received the 2006 Laurels for Team Achievement Award from the International Academy of Aeronautics and Professor Carl Murray and his team from Queen Mary University of London, who work on the Imaging Science Subsystem team, have been nominated for the Research Project of the year in the Times Higher Education Supplement Awards