CHANGE OF PROGRAMME - RAS Public Lecture: Exploring the Saturn Syst em with the Cassini-Huygens Spacecraft

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Due to unforseen circumstances Dr Chris Arridge is now unable to give his talk, however Professor Carl Murray has kindly stepped in to provide a lecture.
 Exploring the Saturn System with the Cassini-Huygens SpacecraftProfessor Carl Murray (Queen Mary University of London)(Venue: Geological Society Lecture Society - no booking required) The Cassini-Huygens mission to the Saturn system is a collaboration between NASA, ESA and the Italian Space Agency, ASI. The instruments and teams were selected in 1990, the spacecraft was launched in 1997 and it finally entered orbit around the ringed planet in July 2004. The Huygens probe descended to the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, in January 2005 while the main Cassini spacecraft continued in orbit around Saturn with the goal of increasing our knowledge of the planet, its retinue of moons and spectacular rings. As well as the results from Huygens, Cassini has observed storms in the planet's atmosphere, bizarre rings, and plumes of ice particles emanating from a reservoir of liquid water beneath the surface of one of Saturn's moons. Cassini's cameras have taken more than 370,000 images over the mission's lifetime and the 12 instruments on board the spacecraft have revolutionised our understanding of the Saturn system. The mission will end on 15th September 2017 when, almost out of fuel, the spacecraft will plunge into the atmosphere of the planet after 13 years of outstanding discoveries. The talk will focus on the results from the Cassini part of the mission with the emphasis on what we have learned about Saturn's rings. The plans for the Grand Finale of the mission will be also be described. Carl is a Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. He is a planetary scientist who is interested in the motion of all objects in the solar system, from dust to planets, and he has co-authored the standard textbook on the subject, "Solar System Dynamics". In 1990 he was selected as a member of the camera team for the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. Carl is particularly interested in the dynamics of Saturn's rings and their gravitational interaction with small moons. He is also an Associate Scientist on the camera team for ESA's forthcoming JUICE mission to Jupiter and Ganymede. In his career he has held a Royal Society University Research Fellowship, a SERC Advanced Fellowship and a PPARC Senior Research Fellowship. After obtaining his BSc and PhD from Queen Mary he worked as a postdoc at Cornell University between 1980 and 1982 before returning to a postdoc position at Queen Mary where he has remained ever since.