CIERA’s 14th Annual Public Lecture, “Cassini to Saturn: The Journey and the Legacy”

CIERA 14th Annual Public Lecture by Dr. Carolyn Porco. October 6th, 2022 at Northwestern’s Cahn Auditorium.

Thirty-two years ago, the United States and Europe joined hands and set off together on an historic adventure. It was a mission named Cassini that called for a 7-year journey across the Solar System and entry into orbit around the planet Saturn, followed by an in-depth, comprehensive look at everything in the Saturn system.

Cassini spent 13 years in residence at Saturn. In that time, the spacecraft revealed a planetary system rich in scientific wonder and splendor beyond compare. Processes at work in the distant past and across the universe, from the early Solar System to proto-planetary disks around other stars to the spiral galaxies, have been found operating within Saturn’s rings. The planet itself has been a lavish source of meteorological detail, permitting comparison with the atmospheres of Earth and the other giant planets. And findings on and within its moon, Enceladus, give reasonable hope of a successful search for extraterrestrial life and investigating the mechanisms by which life has arisen on our own planet and perhaps elsewhere in the cosmos.

In this public lecture, Carolyn Porco, an award-winning planetary scientist, leader of Cassini’s imaging team, and veteran imaging team member on the1980s Voyager mission to the outer solar system will guide us through the enchanting realm of Saturn and the mission’s most profound scientific results, and conclude with the legacy that Cassini and six decades of interplanetary exploration have left behind.

The Lecture is made possible with support from The Alumnae of Northwestern University.

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