Lecture: 19 February “New Horizons, Kuiper Belt & Arrokoth Encounter” by Jeff Moore, NASA

19 February 2020, Wednesday, 7:45 PM, Randall Museum Theater

“New Horizons, NASA’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission
and the Arrokoth Encounter”


Jeff Moore, PhD, NASA Ames

This presentation explores the historic voyage of the New Horizons spacecraft. After 10 years and more than 3 billion miles, New Horizons has served as an ambassador to the planetary frontier and has shed light on new kinds of worlds and the outskirts of the solar system.

In this talk Dr. Moore will discuss New Horizon’s flight above the surface of Pluto and its encounter with the cold classical Kuiper Belt object (KBO) Arrokoth and will explain how this encounter has provided a look back into the beginning of our solar system, to a place where we can observe the most primordial building blocks of our world and the worlds around us.

Brief Bio

As a Co-Investigator, Jeff Moore is the imaging node leader for the New Horizons mission. This activity involves working with the imaging team to define the science observations, plan the observational sequences, and calibrate the camera system. He also served as Chairman of the Jupiter Encounter Sequencing Team for the New Horizons mission, which enjoyed a very successful encounter with the giant planet and its moons in 2007.

As a Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, Jeff’s research has focused on a range of topics relating to the geologic evolution of planetary landscapes and crustal materials. He has published a number of papers on the geomorphology, stratigraphy, and sedimentology of, as well as explored the roles of impact cratering, volcanology, and tectonism on terrestrial planets and outer planet satellites. He is currently investigating the fluvially–dominated evolution of Titan’s surface, the exogenic-processes-dominated nature of Titan’s landforms, and the sublimation-driven erosion of the surfaces of Callisto and Hyperion. Along with his role as imaging node leader, Jeff is also PI for a number of Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) awards: Mars Data Analysis Program (MDAP), Cassini Data Analysis program (CDAP), and Outer Planets Research Program (OPRP).

Jeff’s extensive space mission experience includes, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) as Science Team member/Long Term Planning Lead, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as HiRISE Science Team collaborator, the Galileo Mission as Solid State Imaging Team Associate, and the Mars Polar Lander as a Participating Scientist.

Jeff’s diverse background, which led him to his current position in Space Science started with a B.A. in History from the University of Oklahoma. From here he earned his B.S. in General Geophysics and then his M.S. and Ph.D. in Geology from Arizona State University. His first career was with the United States Army as a Lieutenant, Tank Platoon Leader, and Battalion Staff Officer. His professional experience as a researcher started early on at the School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma and OU’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, and then the Department of Geology at Arizona State University, which brought him to the SETI Institute, and finally NASA ARC at Moffett Field, California.

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