SLAS Regular Meeting
Friday, August 20, 2010
Moons of Distinction - The Ice Worlds Europa and Iapetus
Ms. Kelsi Singer
The gas giant planets of our solar system all have extensive satellite families of several dozen moons each. Most of these moons are small worlds of ice and rock. Several have highly distinctive features whose nature and origin are as yet unknown. Ms. Singer will talk about Jupiter?s satellite Europa, whose lightly cratered outer shell of ice shields an extensive ocean of water from the cold and radiation of outer space. She will also discuss the Saturnian satellite Iapetus, a world that sports one hemisphere whiter than snow and the other darker than asphalt. Using NASA images from the Galileo and Voyager missions to Jupiter and the Cassini orbiter still actively exploring the Saturn system, she will provide a close-up view of these ice worlds and an overview of current theories about their internal structure and surface features.
Kelsi Singer is a Doctoral candidate in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University. She received a B.A. in Astronomy from the University of Colorado in 2006, following studies that included an internship in the Australian Centre for Astrobiology. She is a planetary geophysicist, with particular interest in the icy satellites of the giant planets.