Monday, 11 December 2017
Prof John Zarnecki:   Cassini/Huygens: Some highlights and a personal perspective
The joint NASA–ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn is one of the most exciting ever undertaken. It’s hard to believe that it was launched more than 20 years ago, and was conceived as long ago as 1982. Not only has Cassini sent back 450,000 images, mostly of Saturn and its satellites, but it was used to send the ESA Huygens probe to the surface of Titan in 2004, revealing an amazing landscape of methane lakes and rivers. It has transformed the Saturn system from a distant and comparatively sedate part of the solar system into a dynamic region which could even be an abode of life. 
    Prof John Zarnecki has been associated with the Cassini-Huygens mission since 1990, and was Principal Investigator of the Surface Science Package aboard Huygens. Prior to its arrival, the surface conditions on Titan were unknown, so the package had to be able to cope with either a solid surface or a liquid ocean. Its landing was achieved using technology developed locally, by Martin Baker in Denham. John, who is the current president of the Royal Astronomical Society, will be rounding off the 50th anniversary year of WOLAS by visiting us at our meeting on Monday, 11 December at Christ Church, Redford Way, Uxbridge. The meeting starts at 8 pm.

Future meeting dates


8  January  Ray Doran:    ‘SABRE’  – Someday all engines will be made like this

12 February Rallia Velliou – Humans in space

12 March Prof. Alex Boksenberg – What did dark matter ever do for us?

9 April Prof Paul Murdin –   Universe: Exploring the Astronomical World


List of previous meetings