The Royal Society
Thu 30 May 2024
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Bakerian Prize Lecture: Discoveries at the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn image

Royal Society Bakerian Prize Lecture 2024 given by Professor Michele Dougherty CBE FRS.
One of the most important realisations that planetary scientists have come to in the last 30 years is that in the search for potential habitability in our solar system, the focus need not only be on planets close to the Sun, where water on the surface is in liquid form. Based on observations from instruments on the GALILEO spacecraft at Jupiter and the CASSINI spacecraft at Saturn, there are many potential places in our solar system where liquid water oceans may exist below the surface.
In this lecture, Professor Michele Dougherty will discuss discoveries made by CASSINI scientists, as well as future discoveries waiting to be made at Jupiter’s moons with the European Space Agency mission JUICE. The JUICE mission was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana in April 2023.
The JUICE spacecraft will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa, which all show hints of hosting liquid water oceans beneath their crusts. On Earth, life thrives in the deepest, darkest parts of our oceans near hydrothermal vents. Could life similarly evolve or survive in the ocean floors of these moons?