General Meeting - Exploring Pluto and the Great Planet Debate

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Tonight's guest speaker will be Ian Hewitt, a co-chair of the Raleigh Astronomy Club, and a Solar System Ambassador for NASA, part of a public outreach program of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

NASA has an unmanned mission on its way to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt which will arrive in about 2 years. This presentation will talk a bit about the history of Pluto, its place in the Kuiper Belt, and the mission itself. Pluto has ignited controversy in the public over the last decade with its reclassification and this provides a fascinating example of public perception vs. the evolution of scientific understanding of the Solar System.