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Stargazing Lecture

Friday, March 15, 2019
8:00pm to 10:00pm
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Cahill, Hameetman Auditorium
Planet Nine from Outer Space
Mike Brown, Professor, Department of Planetary Science, Caltech,
  • Public Event

While the occasional "Bring back Pluto!" t-shirt can still be found in the used-shirt bin at the store, most of the world has moved on after the raucous debates about the status of Pluto and its fellow dwarf planets. Astronomers, however, have been continuing to study the outer edges of the solar system to try to understand all that this region can tell us. One of the most startling revelations of the past decade is that there is strong evidence that there is a distant planet lurking in the distant solar system. This undiscovered object is estimated to be 5000 times more massive than Pluto, making it the true ninth planet of the solar system. I'll talk about the history of outer solar system discoveries, the evidence that led us to hypothesize the existence of this planet, and the prospects for directly spotting Planet Nine in -- we hope -- the very near future.

About the Series

Stargazing Lectures are free lectures at a public level followed by guided stargazing with telescopes (weather permitting). All events are held at the Cahill Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Caltech. No reservations are needed. Lectures are 30 minutes; stargazing lasts 90 minutes. Stay only as long as you want.

Stargazing is only possible with clear skies, but the lecture, slideshow, and Q&A takes place regardless of weather.

For directions, weather updates, and more information, please visit:

Download the series flyer (PDF)

For more information, please contact Cameron Hummels by email at [email protected].