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PLUTO'S LAST STAND: Is Pluto Really A Planet?

A Panel of Experts Discuss and Debate the Classification of the Solar System's Smallest Planet.
Main auditorium of the American Museum of Natural History, New York City.

JANE X. LUU is currently an associated professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and on the faculty at Harvard University. Working with David C. Jewitt, she co-discovered the first body out past Pluto, 1992 QB1, and has been part of the discovery team for at least 35 other trans-Plutonian bodies. She is also co-discoverer of one of the Centaurs, 1994 TA.

ALAN STERN is currently the director of the Southwest Research Institute's Department of Space Studies, located in Boulder, Colorado. He has published over 120 technical papers and 20 popular articles, and written two books: The U.S. Space Program After Challenger, and Pluto & Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar system. His research has focused on studies of the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud, the satellites of the outer planets, Pluto, comets, and the search for evidence of solar systems around other stars.

DR BRIAN MARSDEN (5 August 1937 18 November 2010) was an astronomer at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and specialized in celestial mechanics and astrometry, with particular application to the study of comets and asteroids. He was the author of the Standard Catalogue of Cometary Orbits, ten editions which have been published since 1972. From 1978 until he retired he also directed the IAU's Minor Planet Center.

MICHAEL A'HEARN has held various faculty ranks at the University of Maryland since 1966. His primary research activities include the physical properties of comets. Secondary research activities include other small bodies such as asteroids. He is currently the president of IAU Division III - Planetary Systems Sciences and chair of the division's Small Bodies Names Committee.

DAVID LEVY has written 21 books, including a biography of Pluto discoverer Clyde Tombaugh. His 21 comet discoveries include Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. David Levy is science editor of Parade Magazine.