Saturn Moon Titan Focus of March 28 FIT Public Science Lecture

MELBOURNE, FLA. — Florida Institute of Technology’s Catherine Neish will present “Saturn’s Moon Titan: Earth in the Freezer Aisle” at 8 p.m. March 28 in the Olin Engineering Building auditorium in the latest installment of the university’s Community Science Lecture Series.

In this free presentation, Neish will summarize the recent discoveries made by the Cassini-Huygens mission at Titan, and explore the extent to which prebiotic chemistry can proceed on its surface.

Following the lecture, at approximately 9 p.m. weather permitting, Florida Tech’s Student Astronomical Society will open the 32-inch Ortega telescope for public viewing. Three smaller telescopes will be on hand, as well.

Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, is a complex and strangely Earth-like world. The Cassini-Huygens mission has revealed rivers of liquid hydrocarbons carved into its icy landscape, large seas of organic sand dunes, and volcanoes spewing lava made of water. With a surface temperature of minus 290 degrees Fahrenheit, Titan resembles Earth in a deep freeze. Its dense atmosphere of nitrogen and methane also supports a complex organic chemistry, potentially reminiscent of the environment that led to the origin of life on Earth.

Those interested in some hands-on astronomy and who have a telescope or are thinking about getting one are invited to attend the Melbourne Astronomical Society meeting at 6:30 p.m. on March 28 in Room 144 of the Olin Physical Sciences Building.

Maps and directions for all these events can be found online by clicking here.

For more information, call (321) 674-7207.


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