May Regular Meeting at SLAS
May 18, 2007 at 7:30 pm
McDonnell Hall, Washington University
New Horizons at Jupiter and Its Satellites
Dr. William McKinnon
The Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft encountered Jupiter on February 28, 2007. The primary reason for the fly-by was to get a gravitational boost from the giant planet that will save literally tons of fuel. As Dr. McKinnon will explain, this was also an opportunity to use the spacecraft’s instruments to obtain new views of Jupiter and some of its satellites. The result: not only the newest, but the most detailed views of the huge jet streams and storms of the gas giant and also of the craters, volcanic eruptions, and other surface features of its large satellites. In addition to a guided tour of these spectacular pictures, Dr. McKinnon will present a preview of the New Horizons mission to the distant ice world Pluto and its three known satellites.
William McKinnon is a Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences and a Fellow of the McDonnell Center For the Space Sciences at Washington University. He is also a member of the Science Team for NASA’s New Horizons mission. His research interests include impact cratering processes and the study of the distant ice worlds of our solar system. These are the satellites of the giant planets, as well as Pluto and the other small worlds that orbit the Sun at distances of billions of miles.