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The first large-class mission of the European Space Agency’s “Cosmic Visions” program, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE), will launch in 2022 for a journey to Jupiter and its icy moons. Since the Galileo and Cassini/Huygens missions discovered liquid water oceans beneath the icy crust of Jupiter moons Europa and Ganymede, and Saturn moons Titan and Enceladus, the focus of exploration is now on the so-called “habitability” of icy moons around gas giant planets. The main goal of the JUICE mission is to find out whether the interior of Jupiter’s icy moons can provide conditions favorable for life as we know it. In this presentation, Dr. Altobelli will first review the basic concepts of astrobiology and explain the concept of habitability, showing why icy moons around gas giant planets may be a common habitat in the galaxy. He will then present the development milestones, as well as the current and future challenges faced by the ESA JUICE mission.

Dr. Nicolas Altobelli works at the European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC) of the European Space Agency (ESA) in Madrid, Spain. He received his Ph.D. in astrophysics from the Max Planck Institute in Germany and did post-doctoral research on the Cassini mission at the Jet Propulsion Lab in California. His career at the ESA began in 2007 and included work on the Mars Express and Rosetta Missions, was ESA’s project scientist for Cassini, and has been the manager of the JUICE mission since 2021.

Hamptons Observatory extends its appreciation to Dr. Altobelli for generously taking the time to share his expertise, to Carin Eve Cole from CreatingSynergies for helping with arrangements, and to Suffolk County Community College for its kind collaboration on this program.

Registration is required. Tickets are limited for this FREE, virtual event.

TO REGISTER: https://jupiter-talk.eventbrite.com

Hamptons Observatory (HO), a 501(c)(3) NYS nonprofit that relies on public support has served the South Fork since 2005. Its mission: to foster interest in science, particularly astronomy, through educational programs. Lectures, star parties, portable planetarium shows and other events are held throughout the South Fork, often in collaboration with other nonprofit organizations. HO has established the first astronomical observatory on the South Fork (on the campus of the Ross School in East Hampton), complete with Long Island’s largest research-grade telescope; these facilities will soon be accessible over the internet to students, teachers, researchers and the general public. Hamptons Observatory offers all of its programs free-of-charge to encourage participation regardless of economic status. For further information or to make a tax-deductible donation to support our programs please go to our website www.HamptonsObservatory.org. To be placed on our list for event notices, please email HamptonsObservatory@gmail.com

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