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STEM Lecture - Icy Moons, 6.30 - 7.30pm

7th December 2023

Please join us for our free STEM lecture 'Space, Ice and Everything Nice: Icy Moons in our Solar System' with Grace Richards from the Open University. The lecture takes place in the theatre and all are welcome to attend (refreshments will be served from 6pm).

In the outer Solar System, there are many icy worlds which host vast, liquid water oceans beneath their surfaces. These oceans may be ideal places for life to originate and thrive, and have redefined our view of what makes a planet, or moon, habitable. There are also multiple icy moon space missions which have been either recently launched or are planned. These include the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE), which will orbit the icy moons of Jupiter and NASA’s Dragonfly, which will fly to Saturn to study Titan. This talk gives an overview of the key requirements for what makes a planetary body habitable. It will take you on a tour through the outer Solar System, to introduce you to icy moons and the space missions which will study them.

Grace RichardsGrace is a PhD student at The Open University, where she studies icy moon surface processes. As part of the astrobiology research group, the broader theme of her work is to investigate the habitability of Enceladus, an icy moon of Saturn. Her day-to-day work includes building chambers to simulate the physical conditions of icy moons, working on irradiation studies, and using a Light Gas Gun to simulate impact processes. She also enjoys taking part in science communication projects, and creates watercolour paintings and videos to share her enthusiasm for astrobiology.


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