I spent my Friday afternoon giving a talk about Pluto. The talk was for a program called New Frontiers for Lifelong Learning, which is geared towards retirees. I was so happy to be asked to present to this group. My department is very involved in public outreach, mostly geared towards elementary school students. But what better way to foster a love of learning in children than to encourage the adults in their lives to remain learners, too? I think I even managed to convince them that Pluto is not a planet! And I fielded great questions about the Hubble Space Telescope and retrograde motion and moons... gosh, I'm such a geek.
Speaking of Pluto, the New Horizons spacecraft was launched on its mission to Pluto last January. The fastest spacecraft ever built, it's passing by Jupiter this month - just 13 months later!