Strangers and Giants

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A public lecture by Dr Chris Arridge

 

The worlds of the giant planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are full of superlatives. Apart from the Sun they are the largest and most massive objects in our solar system and their influence is felt over enormous distances.

 
The stunning rings around Saturn and the large number of moons around most of the giant planets lead some people to think of them as miniature solar systems in their own right. Giant planets also have intense magnetic fields and are highly efficient charged particle accelerators which results in spectacular aurorae (northern lights).

 
This talk will take you on a cruise of the giant planets where we’ll explore some of the puzzles currently being addressed by planetary scientists in the UK and beyond. The talk will conclude with an overview of upcoming space missions to the outer planets.

Dr Chris Arridge is a planetary scientist at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. His work is focused on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and on future missions to the outer planets.

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