Dr. Scott Kenyon, Harvard-Smithsonian
Title: "Pluto Strikes Back"
Abstract: In the last decade, HST observations have revealed 4 small satellites
orbiting the binary planet Pluto-Charon. After describing the basic
system architecture, I will discuss a plausible path from the giant impact
which produced Pluto-Charon to the formation of small satellites orbiting
the binary. This path leads to several clear predictions for the system
which the New Horizons mission will test during its 2015 flyby. To
conclude, I will describe how Pluto-Charon provides a nearby laboratory for
investigating the formation of planets around binary stars.
Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.