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Public Outreach

The dwarf planets of the solar system


Dr. Andrew Prentice

Emeritus Professor
School of Physics and Astronomy
Monash University


Recent visits of the New Horizons and Dawn spacecrafts to Pluto and Ceres have shown new insights into the two largest dwarf planets of our solar system. In this public lecture, Andrew Prentice will highlight many of the discoveries that have resulted from the recent observations, and new questions  that  have arisen. The lecture will attempt to make sense of these discoveries in terms of existing theories, including Dr Prentice's own theory, and explains how Ceres got all of its water, and how the moons of Pluto were formed.


Dr Prentice obtained his doctorate in theoretical astrophysics in 1970 in Oxford, UK. After a short period as a research scientist in the U.S.A., he was appointed to a lectureship in Applied Mathematics at Monash University in early 1972. He remained at Monash his retirement at the end of 2010. During  the  past 40 years Dr Prentice has developed a radical new theory of how our solar system was formed, which he has applied to various observations of solar system bodies done by satellites over the past decades. Next to his scientific work, Dr Prentice enjoys swimming, bushwalking and giving lectures  on  his passion of astronomy to school groups and professional societies.