The Organic Lakes of Titan and Other Moons of Saturn

Friday, February 15, 2013
Room 204 (Hynes Convention Center)
Amanda R. Hendrix , Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ
Saturn's moons are each fascinating worlds. The Cassini Huygens mission, in orbit at Saturn since 2004, is unraveling some of the mysteries held by these intriguing satellites – and finding yet more questions to be answered. The Huygens probe, which descended through the thick, hazy atmosphere of Titan in 2005, revealed for the first time the alien surface, and Cassini orbiter instruments have continued to make measurements of the surface and atmosphere – revealing an early Earth-like world of dunes, lakes, rain and organics. The prolonged duration of the Cassini mission is allowing for seasonal changes to be observed in all facets of Titan. And Titan is not the only fascinating moon in the Saturn system! - each is unique in its own right. This talk will cover highlights of some of the other moons, including dynamic Enceladus with its south polar plume and sponge-like Hyperion, and will consider what can be learned from these moons about our own place in the solar system.