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New Horizons: The Exploration of the Pluto System

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, November 16, 2015 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G1B30

Speaker Name(s): 

Alan Stern

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

SwRI/Boulder
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Alan Stern is Mission P.I. for New Horizons, NASA's mission to explore the Pluto system and the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft was launched on 19 January 2006 and made the first exploration of the Pluto system this year, culminating with a flyby inside the orbits of all five of Pluto’s moons on 14 July 2015. The spacecraft carries sophisticated panchromatic and color imagers, IR and UV mapping spectrometers, a radio science package, two in situ plasma instruments, and a dust counter. He will describe the history of this mission, the science behind it, the capabilities of payload, our encounter with planet Pluto, and the major scientific discoveries made to date. He will also briefly outline the extended mission they hope to fly across the Kuiper Belt. Full-disk image of Pluto (enhanced color scale).