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Title: The Power of Observations: Discovering the Kuiper Belt; Asteroids, Comets and the Origin of the Oceans
Originating Office: IAS
Speaker: Luu, Jane (lecture 1)
Jewitt, David (lecture 2)
Issue Date: 19-Sep-2012
Event Date: 19-Sep-2012
Group/Series/Folder: Record Group 8.15 - Institute for Advanced Study
Series 3 - Audio-visual Materials
Location: 8.15:3 EF
Notes: Institute for Advanced Study Distinguished Lecture.
Abstract: Before 1992, astronomers believed that the inventory of the solar system was complete: 9 planets and their satellites, lots of asteroids and comets at or inside the orbit of Jupiter, and very far away, comets in the Oort cloud. The region beyond the planets was thought to be empty. The speaker and Prof David Jewitt decided to take a look to see if this was true, and happily for them (but not for Pluto supporters), it turned out that the outer solar system was full of things, moving in orbits no one has ever dreamed of. This talk is about the discovery of the Kuiper Belt, the population of objects beyond Neptune ; The speaker and his group have discovered a new class of solar system body that may be implicated in the origin of the oceans. The speaker will describe some of the objects in this class and present the evidence concerning their volatile natures. He will also provide a sweeping and non-technical context for the delivery of water and other volatiles to the Earth and other rocky planets.
Prof David Jewitt was born in London where he became fascinated by the night sky and, especially, by the contents of the solar system, at a young age. He received his PhD in Planetary Science and Astronomy from the California Institute of Technology in 1983. He was Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Astronomer and Professor at the University of Hawaii. He is currently Professor and Director of the Institute for Planets and Exoplanets at University of California at Los Angeles. Prof Jewitt’s current research interests include outer solar system, solar system formation, physical properties of comets, comet - asteroid interrelations and submillimeter properties of comets and young stars. His favorite quote, and the one that best describes his work, is by Churchill: 'Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm'.
Prof Jane Luu was born in Vietnam where she received essentially no science education until she moved to the US at the age of 11. She received her PhD in Planetary Astronomy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1990. She did her postdoctoral work at various institutions including the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University. She was Assistant Professor at Harvard University and Professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She is currently a member of the Technical Staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Her current goal is to use engineering techniques to solve astronomy problems.
Duration: 50 min. (lecture 1)
Duration: 63 min. (lecture 2)
Appears in Series:8.15:3 - Audio-visual Materials
Videos for Public -- Distinguished Lectures