Pluto in retrospect, and club events this week

It has been just over a year since the New Horizons flyby of Pluto, and there are a couple of opportunities this week to look back at the mission and what we’ve learned so far about the former ninth planet.

Rose City AstronomersJohn Spencer of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado will give a talk about New Horizons at the monthly meeting of the Rose City Astronomers in Portland. Spencer, a member of the New Horizons science team, studies the moons and other small bodies of the outer solar system using ground-based telescopes, the Hubble Space Telescope, and close-up spacecraft observations. He was a science team member on the Galileo Jupiter orbiter and continues to work on the science team of the Cassini Saturn orbiter. The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 18 at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

moflogoNASA JPL Solar System Ambassador and Museum of Flight Educator Tony Gondola will give a talk about New Horizons at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 23 in the Charles Simonyi Space Gallery at the museum. Gondola will talk about new Plutopian perspectives and the planetoid’s dynamic system of moons. He’ll also look at what’s on the horizon as the spacecraft heads out into the Kuiper Belt and the extreme reaches of the solar system.

Science Café

Pacific Science CenterTake a look at the future of space exploration at a Pacific Science Center Science Café at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 19 at Wilde Rover Irish Pub in Kirkland. Alan Boyle, aerospace and science editor at Geekwire, will discuss “The Next Frontiers for Space Exploration” given the rapidly advancing private space industry, its implications for exploration, and the diplomatic and economic questions it raises.

Wednesday at PacSci’s Boeing IMAX® Theater Trekkers can enjoy a Star Trek movie marathon that includes the latest film in the franchise. The marathon begins with Star Trek (2D) at 4:30 p.m. July 20, followed by Star Trek Into Darkness (3D) at 7 p.m. and the premiere of Star Trek Beyond: An IMAX 3D Experience at 10 p.m. Tickets are $40, with discounts for members, seniors, youth, and children.

Wednesday at UW

Seattle Astronomical SocietyThe Seattle Astronomical Society will hold its monthly meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 in room A102 of the Physics/Astronomy building on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. The program will be a show-and-tell by SAS members and includes recent astrophotography efforts as well as a talk from Seattle Astronomy about some of our recent activities.

Theodor Jacobsen ObservatoryLater that evening at 9 p.m. the Theodor Jacobsen Observatory will hold one of its twice-monthly open houses. The astronomy talks for the evening are completely filled, but you may still be able to get a tour of the observatory dome and a look through the vintage telescope operated by Seattle Astronomical Society volunteers. Visit the observatory website to make reservations for future events, which happen on the first and third Wednesday of the month through September.

Up in the sky

Jupiter is getting lower and lower in the west these days as dusk falls, but Mars and Saturn are still well-placed for evening observing. The Sky This Week from Astronomy magazine and This Week’s Sky at a Glance from Sky & Telescope have other observing highlights for the week.