Starry-Eyed Astronomer no more

“Curiosity Rover Lands Safely on Mars.”

This was headline news on the day I went to meet Jane Luu, defense systems engineer and award-winning planetary astronomer. Early in her career, Luu scoped the cosmos, studying the dark void beyond Neptune. With her Ph.D. adviser David Jewitt, she discovered the Kuiper belt, vastly increasing the number of known objects in the solar system. At the same time, her research helped reduce the number of planets in our solar system to eight. Yes, she shares responsibility for the demotion of Pluto.

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