In 2006, NASA launched the New Horizons mission to explore the Pluto system and beyond. New Horizons had its closest approach with Pluto on July 14th, 2015 being the first spacecraft to visit the unexplored body. On new years, New Horizons will fly-by a second Kuiper Belt Object, Ultima Thule, uncovering the mysteries of the solar system relic. From launch to Utlima Thule and beyond, the student-built instrument, the Student Dust Counter (SDC), has been taking nearly continuous measurements of the interplanetary dust population. The principle investigator of the SDC is Mihály Horányi, who oversees the project.
IMPACT participated in its 8th International Observe the Moon Night (InOMN) since 2010. During the evening of October 20th, IMPACT scientists and engineers engaged with hundreds of passersby on Boulder's Pearl Street mall sharing views of the Moon, Saturn, and Mars.
More information about InOMN can be found here.
LASP recently celebrated its 70th anniversary by hosting an open house for collegues, family, friends, and the general public. The open house included talks by distinguished LASP scientists and engineers as well as tours through facilicities and poster sessions. The IMPACT lab hosted over 200 people detailing past, present, and future projects.
IMPACT research associate, Dr. Sean Hsu is the lead author of a recent Science paper that analyzed data from Cassini's Grand Finale tour of the Saturn system. Using data collected by the Cosmic Dust Analyser (CDA), the authors provide first ever in-situ measurements of the distribution and composition of infalling dust from the inner most ring. This study informs on the processes that shape Saturn's rings as well as the overall age of the system.
The paper published in Science can be found here.
A news article about the authors and their work can be found here.
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