Earth & Planetary Sciences 450 - Advanced Topics
Outer Solar System Satellites
Spring Quarter 2018 - Tues, Thurs: 3:30-4:50PM


Professor: Donna M. Jurdy

(From NASA/JPL Voyager 1 Photographs, March 1979: Jupiter & Galilean Satellites, planet-sized moons assembled into a collage. The satellites and planet, not to scale, depicted in relative positions: Io, upper left, nearest to Jupiter; Europa, center; Ganymede, lower center; Callisto, lower right. )

This seminar examines the diverse satellites of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. These small bodies, worlds of fire and ice, young and old, split personalities, and their relationships with planetary rings, have dramatically changed prevailing ideas on our solar system. We will cover their discovery and role in the history of sciences, physical characteristics, recent probes and findings, as well as theories for their evolution and tectonic activity. Also included, planning for future missions to outer solar system satellites to understand the formation of our solar system and additionally the search for life beyond the terrestrial planets. Recent results from Pluto will be highlighted.

Topics Covered and Dates (Syllabus)

movies on space exploration & first contact; related books

Jupiter (and other outer planets) Satellites:
  • Carnegie Institute satellite page, with new discoveries
  • Lectures, American Geophysical Union Conferences:
  • AGU Named Lectures in Planetary Sciences
  • Space Missions
  • Voyager
  • Hubble Space Telescope images
  • JPL Missions
  • Galileo
  • Cassini
  • Solar System Images:
  • LPI Impact Crater Slideset
  • LPI Solar System in 3D Slideset
  • LPI Solar System Tour & Voyager Slideset
  • Miscellaneous:


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    Created: DJ - 1/6/2016
    Last Update: DJ - 4/5/2018