You may not have heard of 'dwarf planets' before, but you've certainly seen the pictures in the news: think of the 'heart' on Pluto or the surprising pyramid-shaped mountain on Ceres. They were produced by two ongoing, spectacularly successful space missions, both targeting dwarf planets in 2015. Dawn arrived at Ceres, the largest asteroid, in March and continues its study in ever-closer orbits. New Horizons flew by Pluto and its four moons in July, after nine years of interplanetary cruise.
In this talk, we will present the mission highlights so far. Under the
Infoversum's impressive Full Dome, we will see precipitous canyons, jagged mountains, black dunes, and glaciers made from nitrogen. We will discuss what this reveals about the evolution of the Solar System, about water on Earth, and just what Walt Disney has to do with all of this.