The 7th annual Simonyi Lecture will be given by Professor Carolyn Porco, the leader of the Imaging Team of the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn and its moons, a 14-year mission which is just reaching its spectacular climax now.
A glistening spaceship, with seven lonely years and billions of miles behind it, glides into orbit around a ringed, softly-hued planet. A flying-saucer shaped machine descends through a hazy atmosphere and lands on the surface of an alien moon, ten times farther from the Sun than the Earth. Fantastic though they seem, these visions are not a dream. The Cassini spacecraft and its Huygens probe have traveled invisible interplanetary roads to the place we call Saturn. Their successful entry into orbit, the mythic landing of Huygens on the cold, dark equatorial plains of Titan, and Cassini's explorations of the saturnian environment are already the stuff of legend. What they have shown us thus far, and the images they have collected, are being closely examined in the pursuit of precise scientific information on the nature of this very alien planetary system.
Come along for the ride, and witness the sights and magic worked by these emissaries from Earth to the enchanting realm of Saturn.
Professor Porco will be introduced by Professor Richard Dawkins. You will have the opportunity to ask Professor Porco questions after the lecture.