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Geophysics Seminar - Ben Idini, UC Santa Cruz, "From Icy Moons to Giant Planets: Exploring the Deep Structure of Solar System Worlds with Tidal Observations"

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The architecture and diverse environmental conditions of our solar system seem exceptionally rare when compared to other nearby planetary systems in the Milky Way. We lack any version of Super-Earth and Sub-Neptune planets, the most frequently observed exoplanets. Furthermore, we host the only so-far-detected instance of life as we know it. The deep interiors of giant planets and icy moons contain clues to advance our understanding of the features that make our solar system so unique, and simultaneously provide invaluable context to inform the undergoing exploration of planetary systems beyond our own. Gas giant planets hold relics of the processes responsible for the formation of our solar system. Meanwhile, icy satellites contain a great abundance of the basic ingredients required to sustain life and have become a priority target for life detection beyond Earth. In this talk, I will present my recent advances in characterizing the deep interiors of the giant planet Jupiter and the icy satellite Titan using tidal observations from NASA missions Juno and Cassini. I will put particular emphasis on discussing the future of planetary interiors exploration in the context of answering questions related to the origin and habitability of our solar system.


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