The close flyby of the most distant solar system body yet explored: New Horizons at 2014 MU69, exploring a planetesimal.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 2:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Astronomy Lunch Series

JJ Kavelaars
JJ Kavelaars

Herzberg Astrophysics

On the 1st of January 2019 NASA's New Horizons spacecraft made the most distant encounter with a solar system body yet achieved by humankind.  Using targeting and navigational information acquired through the Canada-France Ecliptic Plane Survey and a dedicated CFHT observing program that enable an HST search and then Gaia based navigation, New Horizons flew a mere 3500km over the surface of the tiny world 2014 MU69.  I will document the processes that made this encounter possible and detail the rich dataset that has now (mostly) arrived back at Earth.  These data are exposing the end state of the process of planetesimal formation in our distant solar system.