Heard on Campus: Mercedes Richards on 'Pluto and the Dwarfs'

"The decision was made that a planet must have a nice, circular-like orbit about the sun, it clearly cannot be a moon, it has to have a nearly round shape, and it must have cleared the region near the orbit." — Mercedes Richards, professor, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, on the "demotion" of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet by a vote of the International Astronomical Union in Prague in 2006.

Richards hosted the second Research Unplugged conversation of the spring season on Wednesday, March 25. She discussed "Pluto and the Dwarfs: A New Design for Our Solar System" with an attentive group of colleagues and community members in the gallery of Penn State's Downtown Theatre. A full podcast of the event will be available on iTunesU and the Research/Penn State Web site at http://www.rps.psu.edu/ on Monday, March 30.

Research Unplugged is an informal lecture series hosted by Penn State's Office of Research Publications and held at noon Wednesdays in Penn State's Downtown Theatre Center. The afternoon begins with a brief introduction of the topic, followed by an open floor for questions, comments and discussion. The event is free to the public. Complimentary coffee and light refreshments are served.

For information, visit http://www.rps.psu.edu/unplugged/.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010