Astronomy Lecture: Saturn's Moon Titan
A World with Rivers, Lakes & Possibly Even Life
March 09, 2011
7 to 8:30 p.m.

NASA Planetary Scientist Chris McKay
NASA Planetary Scientist Chris McKay

As part of the 12th annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series, world-renown planetary scientist Chris McKay, Ph.D., of the Planetary Systems Branch at NASA's Ames Research Center, will discuss Saturn's Moon Titan: A World with Rivers, Lakes & Possibly Even Life, an illustrated, non-technical lecture, Wednesday, March 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Smithwick Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Admission is free and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive early to locate parking.

Titan, Saturn's largest satellite, is the only moon with a thick atmosphere. The Cassini mission, now orbiting Saturn, has sent back remarkable images and information from Titan, revealing one of the most intriguing and surprising worlds in the entire solar system. In many ways, Titan is a cold twin of the Earth, with liquid methane (swamp gas) playing the same role there as water plays on our planet. Life on Earth is based on liquid water; could there be life on Titan based on liquid methane?

Dr. McKay will discuss the new picture we have of Titan, with its lakes, rivers, and rocks made of water ice. He'll show you a world unlike any that astronomers have seen so far. His research focuses on the evolution of the solar system and the origin of life. He has been a co-investigator on the Huygens probe (that Cassini landed on Titan), the Phoenix Mars lander, and the upcoming Mars Science Laboratory mission. He has a wonderful knack for explaining scientific results in plain language and with a touch of humor.

The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the series are available online in MP3-format.

Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2 from yellow dispensers in student lots. Parking lots 1, 7 and 8 provide stair and no-stair access to the theatre. For more information, access www.foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7888.


Phone us at: (650) 949-7888
Click here for more information.
Check this link for additional information: http://www-space.arc.nasa.gov/staff/chris-mckay
Special Notice: Parking permit is required at all times. Purchase permit for $2 from yellow dispensers in any student lot.