Dr. Larry Marschall, professor of physics, emeritus, at Gettysburg College, will present “What Cassini Told Us About Saturn” on Thursday, February 1 at 7 p.m. in the Visitors Center at Renfrew Park in Waynesboro. The program is free and open to the public.

Marschall will discuss the dramatic end of the historic Cassini spacecraft mission to Saturn, and what astronomers learned from the nearly two decades the Cassini was in orbit. 

Before the Cassini mission, scientists had only minimal knowledge of Saturn’s complicated ring system, moons, and the planet’s magnetosphere.

The first spacecraft to orbit Saturn, Cassini provided the first up-close study of the system of Saturn’s rings and moons. Many discoveries were made via Cassini’s findings that changed the way scientists will approach future space exploration.

Marschall will talk about what was learned from the 20 years of Cassini’s mission, and why it was necessary for the Cassini mission to end with a dramatic and fiery descent into Saturn’s atmosphere. 

A professor of astronomy and physics for many years, Marschall was a visiting research scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, and at Yale University Observatory. He wrote The Supernova Story, published by Princeton University Press, and is a contributing editor for Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine and for several other professional journals. Marschall has a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and a Ph.D in astronomy and astrophysics from University of Chicago. 

A question-and-answer session will follow Marschall’s presentation. Weather permitting, the Tri-State Astronomers club will set up telescopes for sky viewing after the program.

This program was arranged in cooperation with the Tri-State Astronomers. It is underwritten in part by Marge Kiersz, Lucinda D. Potter, CPA, and Smith, Elliott, Kearns & Company, with additional support from Renfrew Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; Alma W. Oyer; APX Enclosures, Inc.; The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin; and the The John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Parking is available behind the Visitor Center with additional parking in the lower lot off Welty Rd. For more information, call the institute at 762-0373 or email to: info@renfrewinstitute.org.