Monday, February 26

Doors: 6:30 PM
Showtime: 7:00 PM

Chautauqua Community House

Sold Out

On April 22, 2017, Cassini will leap over the rings of Saturn to begin its final series of daring dives between the planet and the inner edge of its rings. This is the Cassini “Grand Finale.” At the end of its final orbit, the spacecraft will plunge into the upper atmosphere of the gas giant planet, where it will burn up like a meteor, ending the epic 20-year mission to the Saturn system. It’s inspiring, adventurous and romantic — a fitting end to this thrilling story of discovery.

No other mission has explored this unique region so close to the planet. What scientists learn from these activities will help to improve our understanding of how giant planets — and families of planets everywhere — form and evolve. Dr. Luke Jones will share Cassini’s findings including the interesting worlds of Enceladus and Titan.

Speaker: Dr. Luke Dones is a senior research scientist at Southwest Research Institute’s department of Space Studies in Boulder, Colorado. His research interests include planetary rings, the dynamics of comets and asteroids, and the impact history of the solar system. Dr. Dones is a member of the Imaging team of the Cassini spacecraft. He received a Bachelor’s in Physics from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley.

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