Cassini, Saturn and the plumes of Enceladus

Cassini, Saturn and the plumes of Enceladus

 Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute.

Last September, the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens spacecraft mission ended its 20 years in space by burning up in Saturn’s atmosphere. The end of mission orbits were designed to better understand the interior of Saturn and its magnetic field. Hear from Michele Dougherty, one of the mission's lead scientists, as she describes the end of mission results as well as some surprising discoveries made during the orbital tour at Saturn, including water vapour plumes at the small moon Enceladus and implications this has for potential habitability.

 

brigette.jpg

About Michele Dougherty

Michele Dougherty is a Professor of Space Physics at Imperial College London. She is leading unmanned exploratory missions to Saturn and Jupiter and is Principal Investigator for J-MAG - a magnetometer for the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE)of the European Space Agencies (ESA)due for launch June 2022. She is Head of Physics at Imperial College London, was awarded a CBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List, is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded the Royal Astronomical Society Gold medal in 2017.