Highlights of what we have learned about Pluto from NASA's New Horizons mission

Cathy Olkin '88
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 5:45pm to 7:00pm

Cathy Olkin '88, is a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO. Her main topic of research is the outer solar system, specifically planetary atmospheres and surfaces. She was Deputy Project Scientist for NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto and will relate her direct experience with New Horizons.

After traveling for more than 9 years, NASA's New Horizons mission accomplished its prime objective - the initial reconnaissance of the Pluto system. On July 14, New Horizons passed about 12,500 km from Pluto's surface, flying between Pluto and the orbit of Pluto's large moon Charon. The seven instruments on board the spacecraft include a high-resolution imager, a color imager and short-wave IR imaging spectrometer, a UV spectrometer, two in-situ plasma instruments, a dust detector and a radio science experiment. Data from these instruments have provided a wealth of new information on the Pluto system and have transformed our understanding of this world. Highlights of scientific results include the large glacial region on Pluto and its implication for convection and a possible sub-surface ocean, and also why Charon's north pole is red.

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For more information, contact:
Kate Moynihan
617 253-0041