The Kuiper Belt and its implications


Kavli Prize Laureate lecture in collaboration with the Kavli Foundation

Event details

Professor Jane Luu is a technical staff member in the Active Optical Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

A small object named 1992 QB1 was detected far beyond Neptune in 1992, setting up a series of startling revelations about our solar system.  It is a member of the Kuiper Belt, a swarm of icy bodies left over from the formation of the planets.  Based on orbits inside the Kuiper Belt, we have learned that the early solar system was not always the orderly place it now is, and that the configuration of the giant planets was much different from what it is today. This talk is about the Kuiper Belt and its implications for our solar system (and others).

Jane Luu was born in Vietnam and moved to the United States in 1975. She received her undergraduate degree in physics at Stanford University, and her doctorate in planetary astronomy from MIT, where her advisor was Dave Jewitt.  After finishing her studies she was a postdoc at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, UC Berkeley, and Stanford.  After that, she was on the faculty of the astronomy department of Harvard, then of Leiden University in the Netherlands.  She is currently at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  When not at work, she takes care of her 7-yr-old daughter and 2 very large Newfoundland puppies.

Jane Luu was awarded the 2012 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics.

A recorded video is now available on this page.

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The Kuiper Belt and its implications 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

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