Illustration to represent JUICE, Jupiter's Icy Moons Explorer mission

Halley Lecture: Jupiter’s icy moons

02 May 2024
Public talks and lectures
Martin Wood Lecture Theatre
Martin Wood Complex, Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PU

Professor Michele Dougherty, Imperial College London

Knowledge of physics?
Yes, knowledge of physics required
For more information contact

JUICE: the ESA spacecraft mission to Jupiter's icy moons

This year's public Halley Lecture will be delivered by Professor Michele Dougherty, Imperial College London.


The European Space Agency's (ESA) JUICE (Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer) was successfully launched from Kourou in French Guiana in April 2023. It will spend at least three years making detailed observations of the giant gaseous planet Jupiter and three of its largest moons, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. Iconic missions to the outer solar system like Voyager 1 and 2, Galileo, and Cassini gave us a close look at the giant planets’ largest moons. Once thought of as inactive, cold conglomerates of ice and rock, we know that these distant moons are planet-like worlds with rich histories. While our search for life in the universe was once restricted to Earth-like planets, with terrestrial atmospheres and surface oceans, such icy moons with potentially habitable underground oceans offer new horizons. Jupiter’s three largest icy moons 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 oceans floors of these moons? ESA's boldest mission to date aims to find out.

Join us in-person or online

This public lecture is free to attend in person (no prior registration required; attendees to be seated by 4.50pm) and will also be livestreamed at the following link: