Monday, April 11
Showtime: 7:00 PM
Chautauqua Community HouseSold Out
Since arriving in the Saturn system in 2005, the Cassini spacecraft has been observing some of the most fascinating worlds in our solar system: Saturn’s moons.
Arguably Cassini’s most exciting discovery was that the tiny icy moon Enceladus has geysers, which are currently spraying ice and dust into space. The hydrothermal vents needed to support these geysers are the most likely place for life to exist elsewhere besides Earth. In contrast, Saturn’s moon Titan has a warm enough surface for liquid to flow, however it is far from hospitable – its atmosphere is denser than Earth’s and is made from less oxygen and more hydrocarbons, creating a toxic atmosphere and lakes of liquid methane.
This evening’s discussion will explore these two worlds, along with their neighbors, and will highlight some of Cassini’s new discoveries and new questions these findings have raised. Dr. Carly Howett, a senior research scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder will lead this discussion. Dr. Howett’s was selected as a Participating Scientist on NASA’s Cassini mission in 2011 and a co-investigator on the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer. Dr. Howett’s primary research interests are the surface properties of icy worlds, surface alteration processes and volatile-surface transport. Dr. Howett’s obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 2005.