[ASC-media] Prof. Fred Watson presents 'Pluto and the Uber-Nerds' at Astrofest this Saturday

Pete Wheeler pete.wheeler at icrar.org
Mon Nov 23 04:07:19 CET 2009

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that Astrofest, the biggest IYA event this side of the  
Milky Way galaxy, is happening this Saturday from 2pm to 10pm at  
Curtin Stadium in Bentley. With a host of cosmic craziness and  
something for everyone this is an event not to be missed! For more  
Astrofest info visit www.astronomywa.net.au and follow the links.

As part of Astrofest at 6:30pm we'll be announcing the winners of the  
Astrofest Art, Model and Astrophotography competitions before we  
invite our special guest speaker Professor Fred Watson from the Anglo- 
Australian Observatory in NSW to present an entertaining talk called   
'Pluto and the Uber-Nerds'.

Professor Fred Watson is astronomer in charge of the Anglo-Australian  
Observatory at Coonabarabran and is a regular broadcaster on ABC  
radio, where he has his own weekly program with a large following. In  
2003, Fred received the David Allen Prize for communicating astronomy  
to the public, and in 2006 was the winner of the Australian Government  
Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science. Fred has an  
asteroid named after him but says that if it hits the Earth it won't  
be his fault . . .

When is a planet not a planet? When it's a dwarf-planet, perhaps?
So what's the difference? In 2006, astronomy's governing body, the
International Astronomical Union, wrestled with this very question
at their General Assembly in Prague. Before we knew it, media all
around the world had declared that Pluto had been 'dumped' from
its status as the ninth planet, hinting that it had been unfairly
thrown out of the Solar System. And in 2008 things got worse, with
Pluto joining the lowly ranks of a new class of objects with the
unflattering name of Plutoids. In this entertaining and fully
illustrated journey through Pluto's eventful history, Fred Watson
debates whether pragmatism and good science should prevail over
sentiment and tradition.

Please promote this special talk and the entire Astrofest event to  
your networks and join us to celebrate a fantastic International year  
of Astronomy in WA.

Title: Pluto and the Uber-Nerds
When: Saturday 28 November, 2009
Where: Curtin Stadium, next to Edinburgh Oval, Kent St, Bentley
Time:  6.30pm - 7.30pm
Cost:  Free Public Event

Pete Wheeler
Outreach and Education Manager
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research

Phone: 6488 7758
Fax: 6488 7755
Email: pete.wheeler at icrar.org
Web: www.icrar.org

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