Jupiter Re-Discovered and Saturn Un-Veiled



September 4  Presentation: “Jupiter Re-Discovered and Saturn Un-Veiled, Presented by Mike Adler, Geologists of Jackson Hole.

The genuine wonders of our Solar System continue be better seen, and better understood, from Mercury to distant Pluto. It is an amazing time to be alive, with satellites, orbiters, and rovers exploring our Sun’s orbiting bodies (planets, dwarf planets, to comets and asteroids).

This talk will highlight recent discoveries about the largest two planets in the Solar system, Jupiter and Saturn. The Juno spacecraft has been in a polar orbit around Jupiter since July 2016 and has made some amazing pictures of Jupiter including the first ever of the polar regions but has also provide a totally new perspective on Jupiter using its 8 scientific instruments. In addition to the images, highlights of the results will be reviewed including the first measurements of Jupiter interior structure below the upper clouds, measurements of the magnetosphere and the gravitational field and an analysis of lightning on the planet.

The Cassini spacecraft ended its 13 year mission to Saturn in September 2017 when it was sent plunging into the planet’s atmosphere. As with Juno, Cassini has made fabulous images of Saturn and its moons but it has also provided the most of the detailed understanding of the Saturnian system. Along with the images, the details of Saturn’s ring structure and dynamics will be discussed including its interaction with Saturn’s moons and the planet itself. Several of Saturn’s moons will be highlighted including Titan the largest moon in the solar system with its methane lakes and atmosphere, and Enceladus, with its sub surface salt water ocean and its icy plumes that Cassini imaged as well as flew through & sampled.

If time permits an update on the latest results on Mars will be reviewed. These include the Curiosity Rover’s recent detection of organic compounds, and the just announced discovery of a 12 mile wide salt water lake buried 1 mile below the surface by Express orbiter.