John Spencer – Europa Clipper: Voyage to an Ocean Moon

Presented by KUNC

Doors: 7:00 PM
Showtime: 7:30 PM

In 2024, NASA plans to launch a new spacecraft, Europa Clipper, to the Jupiter system.  Clipper is tasked with exploring Jupiter’s moon Europa, which is thought to harbor a vast ocean beneath its strange, fractured, icy surface.  The spacecraft will reach Jupiter in 2030, and spend more than 4 years in Jupiter orbit, flying past Europa about 50 times.  It will investigate the ocean, which is one of the most promising potential habitats for extraterrestrial life, using a battery of 10 different scientific instruments.  The talk will describe the many remarkable things we already know about Europa, why it is such a compelling target for exploration, and what we hope to learn from this exciting new mission.

John Spencer is an Institute Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, where he has worked since 2004.  He is deputy principal investigator for Europa Clipper’s temperature mapping instrument, and a science team member on its ultraviolet spectrometer.  He specializes in observations of the outer solar system, and Jupiter’s moons in particular, with telescopes on the Earth’s surface, the Hubble Space Telescope, and interplanetary spacecraft.

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