Illustration of Galileo at Jupiter

Galileo Project Scientist Dr. Torrence V. Johnson will host a lecture entitled "The Galileo Mission: Uncovering the Mysteries of Jupiter and its Moons" at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's von Karman Auditorium on Thursday, December 12, at 7 p.m. This lecture is open to the public. Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first served basis. The event will last approximately two hours.

Launched in 1989 aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, the Galileo spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Jupiter on December 7, 1995 after deploying its instrument-laden probe into the turbulent depths of Jupiter's atmosphere. The probe relayed to Earth the first-ever direct measurements of Jupiter's chemistry, winds, and atmosphere, finding the planet drier and windier than expected.

Galileo's scientific focus in the last year has been the study of the Jovian atmosphere, magnetic environment, and four large satellites - Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto. Striking images of Jupiter and its moon taken during a year's worth of flybys will be presented. In addition, Johnson will describe the scientific discoveries made possible by the sophisticated instruments onboard the spacecraft. The Galileo mission is scheduled to continue studying the Jovian system until December 7, 1997.

Dr. Torrence V. Johnson is currently Project Scientist of the Galileo mission. He received his Ph.D in Planetary Science from the California Institute of Technology in 1970, is a co investigator for the Galileo Near Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS) and a team member of the Cassini mission and Voyager mission imaging science teams. In 1980, he received a NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for studies of the Galilean satellites, and received another in 1981 for interpretation of Voyager imaging data.

This lecture is one of the JPL von Karman Lecture Series hosted monthly by the JPL Public Information Office. JPL is located at 4800 Oak Grove Dr., Pasadena. For directions or further information, call (818) 354-5011. An internet site dedicated to the von Karman Lecture Series is located at

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