Air Date: August 10, 2009

Title: What happened to Saturn's rings?

Author: Adam Fuller

Performers: Adam Fuller

Abstract: 400 years ago Galileo turned his telescope towards Saturn and saw what he thought were three separate round bodies. For the next 50 years astronomers hotly debated the true nature of Saturn. Then, in 1659, Christiaan Huygens radically changed the debate with his book, Systema Saturnium. In it he provided the correct explanation of Saturn’s companions: they were actually a large ring wrapping around the planet’s equator. In this podcast we’ll delve into the history of this groundbreaking insight and explain why Saturn is ringless tonight.

Bio: Adam Fuller is currently a graduate student in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department at Johns Hopkins University. He graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Astrophysics this past May. He also has a B.A. in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (How ‘bout them Heels!). His research interests include planetary science, meteorology, and astrobiology. Outside of school he is an avid marathoner, an undrafted NBA free agent, and a dedicated uncle to three proto-astrophysicists.

Podcast: MP3 File

Podcast Transcript: PDF File

Aired Podcast: 365 Days of Astronomy