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Uranus and Neptune: The Outer Ice Giants A Grand Tour of the Solar System

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Uranus and Neptune: The Outer Ice Giants
A Grand Tour of the Solar System

Presented in partnership with George Mason University Observatory

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0348
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Materials for this program

Top: Uranus in 2006, Hubble Space Telescope image (NASA/Space Telescope Science Institute) Bottom: Neptune in 1989, captured by Voyager 2 flyby (NASA/JPL)

Uranus and Neptune are the planets furthest in our solar system from the sun. Each was discovered in a new way: Uranus was the first planet detected with the aid of a telescope, and Neptune was the first planet discovered using math. Although it has been centuries since their discovery, we still know very little about these ice giants, and it has been over 30 years since a mission was sent to visit them. Kathleen Mandt, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Research Center, highlights what we know about Uranus and Neptune, what questions are still unanswered, why it is imperative that we send a mission to learn more about these planets, and what that information could tell us about the rest of our solar system—and beyond.

Series Information

The Grand Tour of the Solar System series treks to the Sun and the four inner terrestrial planets before traveling outward to the asteroid belt, four Jovian planets, and beyond. At each session, a professional astronomer explores a solar system body, presenting the latest research.

Following the talk and a question-and-answer period, Peter Plavchan, a professor of physics and astronomy at George Mason University, brings that night’s sky right into participants’ living rooms via remote control of the university observatory, weather permitting.

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Additional Grand Tour of the Solar System Programs

General Information

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