Join Dan Reisenfeld in the Los Alamos Nature Center’s planetarium this Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. to explore the discoveries of the New Horizons mission at Pluto and beyond. Plus, watch the full-dome film “Out There” on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. Photo Courtesy PEEC
Journey to Pluto and beyond with the New Horizons spacecraft this Friday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. in the Los Alamos Nature Center’s planetarium. Launched in 2006, the NASA New Horizons spacecraft executed a close fly-by of Pluto in 2016, making it the first spacecraft to ever encounter this distant Dwarf Planet. Astronomer Dan Reisenfeld will be the pilot for the evening and will take the audience on a journey highlighting the mission’s discoveries.
At Pluto, the spacecraft found a mountainous, icy world enshrouded in a thin nitrogen atmosphere with a surface coated in organic compounds. After Pluto, New Horizons continued its journey. It recently encountered the odd snowman-shaped asteroid Arrokoth and will continue on to encounter other Kuiper Belt Objects. In this presentation, Reisenfeld will follow the New Horizons mission to the outer solar system and dive into its discoveries at Pluto and beyond.
In addition to this talk, the nature center will play the full-dome film “Out There” on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 2 p.m. For thousands of years, mankind thought that the Earth was at the center of the Universe. Thanks to our curiosity, imagination and urge to explore, we now know that planets like our Earth are nothing special in the cosmos. The Sun is just one ordinary star among hundreds of billions in our galaxy. As we’ve explored more and more of the Universe, what we have found has surpassed even our wildest expectations. Most stars have planets, and it turns out that planets are more common than we thought. A huge diversity of different worlds is out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Admission to both events is $6 for adults and $4 for children. Events in the planetarium are not recommended for children under age 4.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events, and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.