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Spacer Topic - Atmospheric Science on Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Titan

Magellan radar image of Sapas Mons, Venus Cassini Image of Titan

New Views of Hidden Worlds: Revealing the Depths of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Titan with 21st-Century Spacecraft

Presented by Kevin Baines
JPL, Planetary Scientist

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Thursday, February 23 The von Kármán Auditorium at JPL
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA

For directions, click here.
Friday, February 24 The Vosloh Forum at Pasadena City College
1570 East Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA

For directions, click here.

Both lectures begin at 7 p.m. PST and run for approximately an hour.

Admission is free. Seating is limited.
For more information, call (818) 354-0112.

For centuries the surfaces and dynamic atmospheres of many planets, have been obscured at depth by thick clouds and smog, hiding the secrets of bizarre weather systems and alien surfaces. However, today, the wonders hidden at depth and on the surfaces of a variety of planets are being revealed by a number of recently-launched interplanetary spacecraft using a novel observational technique. Developed over the last two decades and validated by the Galileo and Cassini Spacecraft quick flybys of Venus and Jupiter, the new technique uses near-infrared light, either supplied by the Sun or by the planet's own heat, to reveal the nature of low-lying clouds and storms, winds at depth, and surfaces. The Venus Express mission currently en route to Venus will thoroughly exploit this technique with three near-infrared instruments, in particular searching for the heat, gases, and plumes emitted by active volcanoes. The New Horizons mission en route to Pluto will use this technique to explore the three-dimensional character of storms on Jupiter during its fast flyby in February 2007. The Cassini orbiter circling the Saturn system has already used this technique to image a variety of bizarre cloud formations residing at twice the depth of the deepest clouds previously imaged on Saturn. At Titan, Cassini near-infrared observations have penetrated the ubiquitous hydrocarbon smog to reveal the nature of the surface and deep atmosphere, finding direct evidence of cryo-volcanism. This lecture will highlight new discoveries achieved and the prospects for new surprises from our first in-depth views of these hidden worlds.

To learn more about the Galileo, Cassini, New Horizons, and Venus Express missions, click here.

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