Science Cafe: Joshua Colwell Ph.D.
Free parking will be available on the top floor of the Libra parking garage, adjacent to the Physical Sciences Building.
Running Rings Around Saturn
Joshua Colwell, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics, Assistant Director of the Florida Space Institute, Director of the Center for Microgravity Research
Department of Physics, University of Central Florida
Location: Physical Sciences Bldg., Room 161
Date: Thursday, September 29, 2016 6:30 p.m. networking, drinks and appetizers with talk beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Summary: The Cassini spacecraft, carrying the ESA-built Huygens probe, entered Saturn orbit on June 30, 2004, and the Huygens probe successfully landed on the surface of Saturn’s large moon Titan on January 14, 2005. After more than 12 years orbiting Saturn, Cassini has completed more than 235 orbits of the ringed planet and more than 120 encounters with Titan. Cassini has also explored many of Saturn’s dozens of icy moons, and its observations have revealed rapidly changing structures in the rings and other features such as the high reflectivity suggest the rings may be astronomically young. I’ll describe the fascinating phenomena in Saturn’s rings revealed by Cassini that contain clues to the origin of planets which are born in disks of particles not unlike the rings. I’ll also present results from our experimental program to study collisions in the protoplanetary disk and in Saturn’s rings.