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Space Lectures - The Cassini Mission to Saturn: 13 years of discovery


18 Apr '18 4:30pm - 18 Apr '18 8:00pm

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Ticket information

4:30pm lecture £8 adult / £6 concessions, 6:30pm lecture £10 adults / £8 concessions 

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About Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

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Winchester Science Centre is more than a day out. It’s a chance to spark your children’s curiosity in science which could lead them on an...(see more)

About this Event

Monthly adult evening lectures, each followed by a short planetarium show.

These Wednesday lectures are aimed at a level a little above most popular science lectures, so come prepared to exercise your brain and learn the science behind the headlines. The speakers are chosen from the best academic speakers in the UK, with a talent for explaining difficult concepts and the knowledge to give the very latest news from the research community.

Although the primary audience is adults, older children are also welcome to attend.

This month, "The Cassini Mission to Saturn: 13 years of discovery" with Professor Emma Bunce (University of Leicester)

Lecture: The NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn was the largest interplanetary spacecraft to be launched to another planet. During its 13 years in orbit around Saturn Cassini has made in-depth investigations of the planet, its ring system, the orbiting moons, and the magnetosphere. Major results and mysteries from the mission so far span a range of topics such as the elusive planetary rotation rate, the discovery of geological activity on Enceladus, the discovery of new ringlets, new moons near the rings, and a moon stealing particles from the narrow F ring.

The end-of-Cassini mission sequence took place on Sept 15th 2017, after the Grand Finale orbits where the spacecraft plummeted between the inner edge of the ring system and Saturn itself. From a data gathering perspective, this dramatic end of mission sequence has taken us into completely unexplored regions of the Saturn system, and we have gathered much new data from this final episode of the mission. This Grand Finale phase adds to the previous 12 years of continuous operations at Saturn, yielding a 13 year continuous dataset which has led to many discoveries giving us an unprecedented insight into the nature of the Saturn and its environment.

This presentation will review a selection of the amazing discoveries from this epic mission, as well as providing a focus on magnetosphere-related work carried out at the University of Leicester, relating to the effects of Saturn's rapidly rotating magnetosphere and the origins of Saturn's dynamic auroral emissions.

Emma Bunce was awarded her PhD in 2001 for her thesis entitled “Large-scale current systems in the Jovian Magnetosphere”. In 2003 she was awarded a PPARC Post-doctoral Fellowship to study Saturn’s magnetosphere, she was then appointed to the Department’s lecturing staff in 2005, and has enjoyed teaching undergraduates ever since. In 2009 she was promoted to Reader, and in 2013 she was promoted to Professor. To date, she has published roughly 95 papers in the scientific literature and her work has received national and international recognition.

Her main research interests have focused on the giant rotating magnetospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, with a particular desire to explore and understand the mechanisms which generate the dynamic auroral emissions in their upper atmospheres. She has recently take on the role of PI on the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo MIXS instrument, and is a Co-Investigator on the NASA Cassini magnetometer team. She is also currently acting as the Deputy PI on the Imperial College (PI Professor Michele Dougherty) JUICE magnetometer, and a Co-Investigator on the JUICE UVS instrument (PI Randy Gladstone, SWRi).

For more information, see her website:

4.30pm Space Lecture tickets include:

4.00pm Entry to upper exhibition and cafe
4.30pm Lecture followed by Q&A and a short break
5.45pm Planetarium show
6.00pm Event ends.

6.30pm Space Lecture tickets include:

5.00pm Entry to upper exhibition and cafe
6.30pm Lecture followed by Q&A and a short break

7.45pm Planetarium show
8.00pm Event ends, Science Centre closes

Starts: 18 Apr '18 4:30pm

Ends: 18 Apr '18 8:00pm

Place: Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium

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