Dr. Kimberly Ennico, deputy on the New Horizons project that will fly by Pluto in July 2015 and then outward into a far distant zone of millions of small, icy bodies called the Kuiper Belt, is this spring’s featured speaker for the Sherlin Lecture Series in Astronomy and Space Sciences.
The New Horizons project is expected to provide the first ever close up view of Pluto and Dr. Ennico is one of the program leaders. The bi-annual Sherlin Lecture will take place Friday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public at the Fine Arts Forum on the CentreTech campus.
Dr. Ennico has been a staff scientist for NASA at its research center in Moffett Field, Calif., since 2000. She previously worked at Steward Observatory at the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Her research interests are wide-ranging: space telescopes, rapid space mission development, infrared detectors, infrared optics, radiation detectors, spectrometers, astrobiology, lunar science, near earth objects, and STEM training.
New Horizons is the fastest spacecraft the United States has ever launched. It took the Apollo astronauts around three days to get to the Moon. New Horizons flew past the Moon in just eight hours.
New Horizons was launched January 19, 2006 and will fly past Pluto July 15, 2015 - meaning it will take 9.5 years to get to Pluto, even at that fantastic speed.