Place: 4274 Chamberlin (refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Sanjay Limaye, UW Space Science and Engineering
Abstract: In a little over half a century since the first successful fly-by of a planet on 14 December 1962, the survey of the solar system was completed when the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto on 14 July 2015. Discovered during a long and tedious search started by Percival Lowell for a massive planet beyond the orbit of Neptune on 18 February 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, it was found to be too small to affect the orbits of other planets. In the last few decades, we have learned that Pluto is the innermost (closer to the sun) member of a class of icy, rocky and small objects that comprise the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt. New Horizon's survey of Pluto and its moons shows it to be an object unlike anything else we have seen in the solar system to date. Now on its way to another distant object, New Horizons is continuing to send its treasured data back to Earth.