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News Release

11 October 2005
GSA Release No. 05-36

Contact: Christa Stratton


Space Enthusiasts Invited to Hear Top Scientists from the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn in Salt Lake City Next Week

Boulder, Colorado — Salt Lake City area residents and media will have a rare opportunity to view spectacular images and see, hear, and ask questions of top scientists working on the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn. A public forum titled "Saturn and its Moons: A Ring-Side View from Cassini-Huygens" takes place at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting next week. The forum will be held Monday evening, 17 October, 7:00-8:30 p.m., at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Ballroom A/C. It is sponsored by Subaru of America, Inc., and is free of charge.

Twenty-three years after the last robotic probe ventured to Saturn, the Cassini-Huygens mission is returning spectacular images of the gas giant, its rings, and its moons. At the Public Forum, leading scientists working on these missions will give a non-technical overview of the mission and its latest results. Space enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to attend and ask questions. Participating scientists and their topics are:

  • Torrence Johnson, Chief Scientist for the Solar System Exploration Programs Directorate, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory: Cassini-Huygens Mission Overview
  • Rosaly Lopes, Principal Scientist, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Lead Scientist for Geophysics and Planetary Geosciences, and Investigation Scientist for the Cassini Titan Radar Mapper: Radar Imaging of Titan
  • Laurence Soderblom, Interdisciplinary Scientist for the NASA Cassini Orbiter Mission, Science Team Member of the ESA Huygens Descent Imager/Spectral Radiometer investigation, and Research Geophysicist with the USGS in Flagstaff, AZ: Titan from the perspective of Cassini Visual and Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (VIMS) and Huygens Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer (DISR).
  • Carolyn Porco, Leader of the Cassini Imaging Science team and Director of the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations, Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO: Saturn's Rings and Atmosphere

Background information on Cassini-Huygens and downloadable images are available on the Web at

On Monday afternoon, these scientists and others will discuss their work in a Pardee Keynote Symposium at the GSA Annual Meeting. "The Return to Saturn: Results from Cassini Huygens" is open only to meeting registrants and media who receive complimentary registration (i.e., this session is NOT open to the public). This technical session takes place Monday afternoon, 17 October, 1:30-5:00 p.m., in SPCC Ballroom A/C. Abstracts of these presentations may be viewed at

GSA will provide media support before the meeting from its Boulder headquarters and during the meeting from its onsite newsroom at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Room 254C. Contact Ann Cairns, GSA Director of Communications, for additional information and assistance. Through Thursday, 13 October, she can be reached at +1-303-357-1056 or via From Saturday, 15 October, through Wednesday, 19 October, she can be reached at the GSA Newsroom, Salt Palace Convention Center, +1-801-534-4770.

Approximately 6000 geoscientists from around the world are expected to attend this 117th Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America. Founded in 1882 and headquartered in Boulder, CO, GSA has 18,500 members.


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