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Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series

Jeff Cuzzi Discusses Cassini at Saturn on January 26, 2005 at 7 p.m.

Andrew Fraknoi


Astronomer Jeff Cuzzi of NASA's Ames Research Center will give a non-technical, illustrated talk on: "Exploring the Lord of the Rings: Cassini at Saturn" in the Smithwick Theater, Foothill College, El Monte Road and Freeway 280, in Los Altos Hills, California

Free and open to the public. Parking on campus costs $2. Call the series hot-line at 650-949-7888 for more information.

After a 7-year journey, the Cassini spacecraft arrived at Saturn in July 2004, to start a 4-year tour of the planet, its icy moons, and its vast ring system. In January, a probe from Cassini called Huygens will explore the haze-shrouded giant moon called Titan (the only moon in the solar system to have a thick atmosphere.)

Dr. Cuzzi, one of the world's experts on ring systems around planets, will describe the Cassini-Huygens spacecraft and the plans for this fascinating mission. He will highlight the most exciting results from the first few months of Saturn system exploration, with an emphasis on what we are learning about the complex structure and composition of Saturn's ring system and how such a dramatic set of rings may have originated.

Jeff Cuzzi is a research scientist in the Space Science Division at NASA's Ames Research Center and serves as the Interdisciplinary Scientist for Rings and Dust on the Cassini-Huygens. He was a "ringleader" in planning all the ring images taken at Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1980s. Among his other research interests, he studies the formation of the first large objects during the birth of our solar system.

No background in science will be required for this talk, which will interest everyone who enjoys the latest news of exploration at the frontiers of astronomy.


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