Describe the New Horizons mission and its goals. Choose one other dwarf planet that we know of and describe it.

General Information NASA is sending missions to various planets and moons, and astronomers are using ever more powerful telescopes to unravel the mysteries of our universe. It is important to be aware, as students of astronomy (and as taxpayers!!), of recent developments in the field. The point of this research essay is for you to become more familiar with a particular topic of your choice, and also to see what captures the public’s interest in astronomy. Dwarf Planets What do we know about Pluto? What do we want to know about Pluto? Describe the New Horizons mission and its goals. Choose one other dwarf planet that we know of and describe it. You will write a short essay exploring this topic. You must go beyond what we do in class. Use websites, books, and/or magazine articles to research your topic. Criteria The essay should be short: 1 cover page, ~2-3 pages of text, typed, double-spaced, 11-point font, 1-in margins. Clearly identify your sources in a bibliography. Citations for websites used should include: web address (URL), website title, date of access, any author and date info you can find on the site. Your spelling and grammar should be correct. (Scientists often get a bad rap because they don’t communicate their ideas to the general public very well. So, just because this is a science class doesn’t mean you can forget all you learned in English!) If desired, graphs or pictures can be added (but make sure you list where they are from, unless you made them yourself). Your paper should be understandable by a student who is taking an introductory astronomy class and should not be a string of quotations.


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