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Vernon Lecture on Pluto: insights from the recent New Horizons mission

Dr. Harry Shipman, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, will present the Vernon Lecture for 2016 at 7:30PM in Clayton Hall. Pluto inhabits the frigid edges of our solar system far beyond the orbit of Neptune. Because of its distance and small size, we have only blurred glimpses of its surface features and character-istics, even with the best Earth-based telescopes. All that has now changed. New Horizons was launched in January 2006. After a journey of 3 billion miles, it passed within 13,000 miles of Pluto in July 2015. The New Horizons mission has transformed Pluto and its moons from fuzzy blobs of light into complex worlds with nitrogen glaciers, water ice mountains, and amazing geology. The highlights of these fascinating images will reveal the dynamic surfaces of Pluto and Charon, and describe some of the exciting results from the mission.