NSN Webinar: The Europa Clipper Mission: Exploring a Potentially Habitable World

NSN Webinar: The Europa Clipper Mission: Exploring a Potentially Habitable World

  • Nighttime Event
  • Inside Venue
  • Target Audience
  • Teen, Adult
Images: NASA, Robert Pappalardo

NASA Night Sky Network members joined us on October 16, 2018 to hear Robert Pappalardo bring us up to date on the Europa Clipper mission.

Jupiter's moon Europa may be a habitable world.  Galileo spacecraft data suggest that a global ocean exists beneath its frozen ice surface. A scarcity of large craters argues for a young surface and recent geological activity, and magnetometry implies that a salty ocean persists today. Europa's ocean and surface are inherently linked: tidal deformation of the floating ice shell could generate stresses that fracture and deform the surface to create ridges and bands, while dark spots, domes, and chaos are probably related to tidally driven ice convection and partial melting. Europa's activity may permit the "ingredients" necessary for life – water, chemistry, and energy – to be present within the satellite's ocean. NASA is planning a robotic mission to explore Europa and investigate its habitability, employing a highly capable suite of remote sensing and in situ instruments on a spacecraft that will make multiple close flybys.   The Europa Clipper mission will interrogate the moon’s ice shell, ocean, composition, and geology including any current activity.  This talk will summarize both our state of knowledge about Europa and the science potential of the Europa Clipper mission to explore Europa and investigate its habitability. 

About Robert Pappalardo

Dr. Robert Pappalardo is the Project Scientist for NASA’s Europa Clipper Mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology.  He has also served as the Project Scientist for the Cassini Equinox (first extended) Mission at Saturn, for which he received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal.  He has served as a member of the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board and as Co-Chair of its Committee on the Origins and Evolution of Life. He received his B.A. in Geological Sciences from Cornell University in 1986, and he obtained his Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University in 1994. His research focuses on processes that have shaped the icy satellites of the outer solar system, especially Europa and the role of its probable subsurface ocean.
 
Follow the Europa Clipper mission on social media.
Europa Clipper on Twitter: @europaclipper
Europa Clipper on Facebook: www.facebook.com/NASAEuropaClipper

latest update: October 16, 2018

Video

NSN Webinar: The Europa Clipper Mission: Exploring a Potentially Habitable World

NASA Night Sky Network members joined us on October 16 to hear Robert Pappalardo bring us up to date on the Europa Clipper mission.

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Daytime Event
Daytime Event
Nighttime Event
Nighttime Event
Inside Venue
Inside Venue
Outside Venue
Outside Venue
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Target Audience