UA Science Cafe at Magpies – 'Cold and Curious: Pluto and Its Moons'
Series topic: All the Moons You Need to Know: The Amazing Moons of Our Solar System
We are all familiar with our moon, the Earth's moon, that lights up our night sky and cycles through our lives. But many of us don't know much about the other moons in our solar system, moons that orbit other planets like Saturn and Jupiter. These days, scientists are especially interested in those other moons. Many of the most exciting recent discoveries in planetary science are connected to those other moons. Some of them even look like prime candidates for microbial life! Discover the wondrous moons of our solar system in this new Science Cafe series.
Talk: "Cold and Curious: Pluto and Its Moons"
Presenter: Tod Lauer, Astronomer, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Talk description: When NASA's New Horizons spacecraft reached the dwarf planet Pluto in the Summer of 2015, it was the first time we were able to see close-up images of Pluto and its five moons: Charon, Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra. Charon, by far the most massive of Pluto's moons, is covered by frozen water, and its gravity tugs powerfully on Pluto. The other four smaller moons are all elongated instead of spherical, and they rotate chaotically as they orbit Pluto. Discover what New Horizons revealed about Pluto and its moons in this Science Café!