NASA’s New Horizons Mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt

Oct. 20, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Speaker: Dr. Henry Throop, Planetary Science Institute.

After a nine-year journey though the solar system, astronomers visited Pluto for the first time in July 2015, using a robotic NASA spacecraft called New Horizons. Despite being a tiny, icy body far from the sun’s warmth, New Horizons found Pluto’s surface to be astonishingly young and active, showing a diverse variety of geology never before seen in the solar system. New Horizons Science Team member Dr. Henry Throop will tell the story of this NASA spacecraft mission, from its development and construction through its launch in 2006, to its successful encounter with Pluto, and plans for a flyby in the Kuiper Belt on the first of January, 2019.

About Dr. Henry Throop

Dr. Throop is a Senior Scientist with the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona. He has been a member of the science team for NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto since 2003, and was involved in its historic flyby of Pluto in 2015. He has written award-winning software for operations planning, and been involved with the Cassini mission’s imaging team. Dr. Throop has consulted and managed programs for NASA and the NSF, and helped develop the science programs of rural schools in Africa. He has presented more than 100 lectures for science festivals, planetariums, school groups, and public events across the USA, Mexico, and Africa. Dr. Throop’s work has been featured in Science, Nature, Time, The Washington Post, on the History Channel, and on National Geographic TV.

Total Duration: 40 minutes, plus Q&A; Target Audience: Older students and adults.

About the parking...

There is still free parking around the planetarium, but most of the spaces on the north and east side of the building have been fenced off now and will not be available until after construction is finished. Limited parking is available in the lot for the aquatic center, on the side nearest the planetarium. Visitors may also parking the “deck” to the north of the building, and in the Buck Co. lot on the opposite side of Quincy. Street parking is also available along Quincy. This is metered until 8 pm. Please allow a little extra time to find parking for shows at the planetarium, and thanks for your patience!

For more information, see Exoplanets: Special Weekend October 19-21

Doors open: 7 p.m. Show begins: 7:30 p.m.

Our capacity is 58 seats. We set aside 20 seats to accommodate those who arrive without a reservation, so if the show is sold out you can still try to attend by arriving close to 7 p.m. However, although we will do whatever we can to seat all comers, there is no guarantee of admission without a reservation.