Department Contact Information

Physics Department

Location: 180-204
Phone: (805) 756-2448
Fax: (805) 756-2435
Email: physics@calpoly.edu
Chair: Robert Echols

 

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Second Ross and Sue Benitez Space Exploration Forum

image of Cassini spacecraft approaching Saturn

The End of Cassini

Explorer of the Outer Solar System 

Spanos Theatre, Saturday, September 16, 7-8:30 p.m.
Free and open to the public

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
For more information call 805-756-2448

Jani Radebaugh, a planetary scientist who worked with NASA on the Cassini mission to Saturn and specializes in landscapes of Earth and other planets, will share images captured by the spacecraft. She will focus on her current investigations, which include giant dunes, mountains, volcanoes, rivers and lakes on Saturn's moon Titan and actively erupting volcanoes and mountains on Jupiter's moon Io. Using her hands-on studies of landscapes on Earth in combination with the Cassini results, Radebaugh will discuss the planetary processes on these moons.

 

“To understand these places has required us to be ourselves explorers, ranging from the deserts of Egypt, Arabia and Persia, over the high plateaus of the Argentine Puna, and to the edges of lava lakes in Ethiopia and Vanuatu.” -Jani Radebaugh.

The Cassini spacecraft will end its approximately 13-year exploration of the Saturn system in flames as it enters the atmosphere on Sept. 15, according to NASA. The robotic observation platform provided an unparalleled glimpse into what happens on the distant planet. Operators are deliberately plunging Cassini, which has used up almost all of its fuel, into the planet to ensure Saturn’s moons will remain pristine for future exploration.

About Jani Radebaugh

image of Jani Radebaugh

 

Jani Radebaugh is a planetary scientist and associate professor at Brigham Young University who specializes in landscapes of Earth and other planets. She analyzes images obtained by spacecraft to determine the origins and geologic histories of planetary surfaces. Radebaugh is a regular participant in the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites Program, a science contributor for the Discovery Science Channel's How the Universe Works, and a BBC Horizons special on Cassini.

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