Space Expert to Lecture on Largest Moon of Saturn

April 8, 2010

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Dr. Ralph Lorenz, research scientist at the Johns Hopkins University applied physics lab, will give a seminar titled "Titan Unveiled" at 1:20 p.m. Friday, April 9 in Room C206 in the Baylor Science Building on the Baylor University campus. The seminar is hosted by the Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) at Baylor.

"We always try to pick people who are internationally or nationally known in the field to give the seminars," said Dr. Truell Hyde, professor of physics and vice provost for research at Baylor.

Hyde said the talk will summarize some of the NASA-ESA-ASI Cassini-Huygens mission's recent findings with emphasis on the interactions between Titan's surface and atmosphere.

"Titan is one of the largest moons in the solar system," Hyde said.

Ralph Lorenz received his doctorate in physics from the University of Kent at Canterbury. He worked for the European Space Agency on the design of the Huygens probe and during his doctorate research designed and built its penetrometer instrument that eventually measured the mechanical properties of Titan's surface when Huygens landed in 2005.

He continues to work on those topics at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Astrobiology and is author or co-author of several books including Lifting Titan's Veil Spinning Flight, and Space Systems Failures.

Space research within CASPER has a proud heritage dating back to the 1960s, including flight projects from Explorer I forward. Personnel within the Center have been actively involved on a number of NASA and ESA flight missions.

CASPER is an official Baylor research center formed by a partnership between Baylor and Texas State Technical College-Waco. For more information on CASPER, visit www.baylor.edu/CASPER/.

by Jessica Puente, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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