Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The First 1000 Days: Cassini Explores The Saturn System

Carolyn Porco Carolyn, leader of the imaging science team on the Cassini mission at the Google Tech Talks in May 23, 2007

A glistening spaceship, with seven lonely years and billions of miles behind it, glides into orbit around a ringed, softly-hued planet. A flying-saucer shaped machine descends through a hazy atmosphere and lands on the surface of an alien moon, ten times farther from the Sun than the Earth.

Fantastic though they seem, these visions are not a dream. For seven years, the Cassini spacecraft and its Huygens probe traveled invisible interplanetary roads to the place we call Saturn. Their successful entry into orbit a thousand days ago, the mythic landing of Huygens on the cold, dark equatorial plains of Titan, and Cassini's subsequent explorations of the saturnian environment are already the stuff of legend. What they have shown us thus far, and the images they have collected, are being closely examined in the pursuit of precise scientific information on the nature of this very alien planetary system.

This presentation will highlight the findings returned by these emissaries from Earth to the enchanting realm of Saturn.

No comments: