Department of Physics and Astronomy
Stony Brook University
7:30 pm; ESS Building, Room 001
Friday, Oct. 2, 2015

What did New Horizons teach us about the system formerly known as Planet Pluto?

Prof. Alan Calder

On July 14, 2015 NASA's New Horizons probe, launched in 2006, flew by dwarf planet Pluto giving us our first detailed observations of Pluto and its moons. I will give an overview of our solar system and its formation to set the context of this mission. While the process of receiving data from New Horizons will continue for months, we have received high-resolution images of the surface and atmosphere that indicate and unexpected amount of activity. I will present early results and what we have learned, and also new questions that have arisen.

Prof. Calder joined the Stony Brook Physics and Astronomy department in 2007 after research appointments at the University of Illinois and the University of Chicago. His research is in computational astrophysics and he has studied a variety of problems including core collapse and thermonuclear supernovae, coalescing neutron stars, and classical novae.