RSAA Colloquia / Seminars / Feast-of-Facts: Monday, 22 December 2014, 11:00-12:00; Duffield Lecture Theatre

Kimberly Ennico-Smith

"Distant worlds revealed - NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reaches the Pluto System in 2015"

In this presentation I will recap what we know about the dwarf planet Pluto & its companion moons, including some recent results from the Division of Planetary Sciences October 2014 meeting (Tucson, AZ). Next I will describe NASA’s New Horizons mission, launched in January 2006, who has been traveling across the solar system and will reach the Pluto system in July 2015. It’s been 25 years since we last visited a new world with a spacecraft for the first time (Voyager-2’s August 1989 flyby of Neptune/Triton), so we can expect the unexpected. Images from New Horizons hi-res camera become "better than Hubble" in early May 2015. I will end the presentation with the latest news from the New Horizons mission and its plans after the July 2015 Plutoflyby.