On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto and its moons at 31,000 miles per hour. That day some 1.7 billion mentions of New Horizons sped across the Internet and social media, evidence of worldwide interest in this first mission to the last planet of the classical solar system. Now, the epic voyage of exploration continues with a planned January 1, 2019 flyby of a mysterious and still more distant Kuiper Belt Object known as “MU69.”
On September 21 and 22, 2018 students, teachers and the general public in Albuquerque and its region have the opportunity to hear directly from key members of the New Horizons team in fast-paced multimedia presentations featuring the stunning images and science gathered during the Pluto flyby. HD video illuminates key mission milestones, including a preview of New Horizons’ next encounter – a flight past MU69, which promises to be the most distant and most unchanged solar system object ever explored! NASA hopes that the flyby will provide important new discoveries about the origin and evolution of the entire solar system.
“Five NASA scientists and engineers from the mission will join us for a high-energy public presentation with a show and tell video in the museum’s Dynatheater,” said Margie Marino, the museum executive director. “The activities include a PBS Science café and a teacher workshop Saturday morning.”
Following the PLUTOPALOOZA presentations audiences will have the opportunity for moderated Q&A with the guest researchers, and a chance to take and share “selfie” photos of themselves in front of giant backdrops of Pluto and MU69.
In association with NMMNHS, the New Horizons researchers and Educator Fellow Shirley Greene will lead a workshop for educators connecting the amazing results from the Pluto system to classroom ready activities complementing the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) and NM science standards.
The mission scientists will also participate in a Science Café at NMMNHS coordinated by PBS.