National Weather Center Colloquium

The Geology of Titan as revealed by the Cassini mission

Dr. Rosaly Lopes

Senior Research Scientist and Manager of the Planetary Science Section at the jet propulsion Laboratory

20 October 2015, 4:00 PM

National Weather Center, Room 1313
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

The Cassini-Huygens mission has been orbiting Saturn since 2004, making new discoveries about Saturn’s atmosphere, rings, and its many moons. Saturn’s largest moon Titan is covered by a dense atmosphere and haze, which obscured the view of Voyager, the previous spacecraft to visit the Saturn system. Cassini carried a probe, Huygens, which landed on Titan revealing its surface for the first time. Cassini also carries a radar instrument, able to penetrate the atmosphere and haze to reveal geologic features in detail. Titan has shown itself to be one of the solar system's most intriguing objects for study. It is very geologically complex and features large craters, cryovolcanoes, mountains, flowing channels, vast fields of dunes, and giant lakes and seas of liquid hydrocarbons. Titan appears to be very Earth-like in its geology, despite the very different surface conditions and composition, and has become known as "the Earth of the outer solar system".

Speaker bio

National Weather Center Colloquium Seminar Series website