The Magnificence and Majesty of the Outer Solar System

Sunday June 24th, 2012
3:00 pm
Ballroom B

Buy the Panel Discussion DVD


Cynthia PhillipsCynthia Phillips - a planetary geologist at the SETI Institute with experience in processing spacecraft images of the planets, She is particularly interested in active geologic processes on such worlds as Mars, Europa, Io, and Enceladus. Cynthia has also co-authored twelve popular-level books, including Space Exploration for Dummies, and is a public speaker and blogger on the subjects of astrobiology, the outer Solar System, and space exploration. In addition to her scientific interests, Dr. Phillips also leads two undergraduate research programs at the SETI Institute - the REU program in the summer, and the URSA program during the academic year.
Mark Showalter - Showalter is rabid about rings. While everyone knows about Saturn’s spectacular ring system, it’s often forgotten that Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune are also encircled by fainter and narrower rings. Each of these systems interacts closely with a family of small, inner moons. Showalter works on some of NASA’s highest-profile missions to the outer planets, including Cassini, now orbiting Saturn, and New Horizons, which flew past Jupiter en route to its 2015 encounter with Pluto. He has even searched for the rings of Mars, although so far with no success. Known for his persistence in planetary image analysis, Mark's work on the earlier Voyager mission led to his discovery of Jupiter’s faint, outer “gossamer” rings and Saturn’s tiny ring-moon, Pan.
Charles Lindsay - He photographs at the interface between nature and culture. It is his fascination with our relationship to the earth which connects all of his work - living with a rain forest tribe, traveling with turtle hunters, looking at his own experience of fly fishing or the culture of golf and it' s relationship to the natural world. His camera-less photographs and videos are a visual exploration of nature in an abstract sense, influenced by space and scientific imagery.


Rob French -spends his days at the SETI Institute studying the origin and evolution of the rings and moons of the outer planets.  With graduate degrees in both Astronomy and Computer Science and more than 20 years experience in commercial software development, he is especially interested in ways of automating the analysis of the terabytes of data returned by modern spacecraft.  An avid speaker and educator, Robert never misses an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for space exploration with the general public.