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Astronomy Lecture: Encounter with Ultima Thule

The Most Distant Object Humanity Has Ever Explored

Smithwick Theater

October 16, 2019

7 p.m.

 

Archive Story

 

After a successful encounter with Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft, for the first time flew by a member of the Kuiper Belt of icy objects beyond Neptune. This particular object, officially called 2014MU69, but informally named "Ultimate Thule" (meaning the farthest place beyond the known world,) turned out to be a "contact binary" - two smaller icy worlds stuck together. Such objects are left over from the time our solar system was first coming together and provides scientists with a glimpse of what it was like here before the Earth even formed. Dr. Moore will share an insider's view (with great images) of how the mission got to its targets and what we learned while passing by Ultima Thule.

Dr. Jeff Moore is a Research Scientist in the Space Science Division at NASA's Ames Research Center and a leader of the Imagining Team that explored both Pluto and Ultima Thule. He has been a member or leader of several other space mission teams, including the Galileo mission to Jupiter, the Mars Exploration Rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. His research focuses on the nature and evolution of the surfaces of planets and moons in the solar system, including the role of impacts, quakes, and volcanoes on other worlds. He has also worked at the University of Oklahoma's National Severe Storms Laboratory and at the SETI Institute.

Foothill College is just off the El Monte Road exit from Freeway 280 in Los Altos.

For directions and parking information, see: foothill.edu/parking.

For a campus map, see: foothill.edu/map.

The lecture is co-sponsored by:

* The Foothill College Physical Science Division

* The SETI Institute

* The Astronomical Society of the Pacific

* NASA's Ames Research Center.

We get large crowds for these talks, so we ask people to try to arrive a little bit early to find parking. The lecture is free, but there is a charge of $3 for parking on campus and exact change is appreciated.

Past lectures in the series can be found on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/SVAstronomyLectures

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