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Astronomical Society Of Greenwich Hosts Lectures On Pluto, Exoplanets

The Astronomical Society of Greenwich is hosting lectures this spring on Pluto and Exoplanets.
The Astronomical Society of Greenwich is hosting lectures this spring on Pluto and Exoplanets. Photo Credit: Contributed

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- The Astronomical Society of Greenwich, an affiliate of The Bruce Museum, is hosting lectures on Pluto and Exoplanets.

The first lecture will be on Sunday at 3:30 p.m., titled "New Horizons: Exploring Pluto," with Jaclyn Avidon at The Bruce, 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich.

"This is a very exciting time for planetary science. Exploring a new type of world for the first time means there is tremendous potential for leaping forward in our understanding of the Universe," said Avidon.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

After nine years and billions of miles, the New Horizons spacecraft was woken from hibernation in mid-January, and is scheduled to reach its destination of Pluto in mid-July. NASA’s first mission to distant Pluto will also be humankind’s first close up view of this cold, unexplored world in our solar system, said Jim Green, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division.

Avidon’s talk will discuss what we currently know about the dwarf planet and its’ neighbors, what we hope to discover though the New Horizons mission why Pluto lost its planetary status. Avidon is a member of the board of directors of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York, the chair of the Association’s Education and Educational Outreach Committees, and an instructor for the association’s classes.

She spent more than two years researching the subsurface conditions of Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa, including an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CALTECH. Avidon is a frequent guest speaker at public astronomy seminars, including at the American Museum of Natural History and The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. She is active in educational outreach, has written scripts for NASA-funded animated videos and led astronomy workshops at children’s hospitals.

The second lecture will be on Sunday, April 12, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. titled "Exoplanets," with Nick Stone. An exoplanet or extrasolar planet is a planet that does not orbit the Sun and instead orbits a different star, stellar remnant, or brown dwarf.

For further information, contact Anne Burns at 203-413-6762.

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