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DIX Planetary Science Seminar

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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Arms 155 (Robert P. Sharp Lecture Hall)
Chris Mankovich, Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate, Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology,

Gas giants -- even the well-studied ones in our own back yard -- still have poorly understood internal structures, hampering our understanding of the accretion process and subsequent mixing and cooling in their fluid interiors. Planetary seismology holds tremendous promise for revealing these planets' interior composition, buoyancy, and rotation via their normal mode oscillation power spectra, akin to global helioseismology or asteroseismology. At Saturn's rings, stellar occultations viewed by the Cassini spacecraft have revealed 30+ ring waves excited at resonances with Saturn's nonradial oscillation modes, confirming a hypothesis dating to the 1980s and yielding the most comprehensive dataset ever for seismological study of a planet other than Earth. I will present on the lessons we have managed to learn so far about Saturn's internal structure and rotation using this one-of-a-kind technique.

For more information, please contact Maria Camarca by email at [email protected].