BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Illinois Wesleyan University Professor of Physics Linda French
will present “Exploring Pluto” Sept. 10 at the McLean County Museum of History. Her
presentation will be offered through the “Lunch and Learn Series,” which is offered
through a partnership by the McLean County Museum of History, the Collaborative Solutions
Institute and Illinois Wesleyan University.
French will discuss the latest discoveries of the NASA flyby of Pluto. New findings
have shown that what was once assumed to be a dead planet may actually be far more
active than scientists had previously assumed. Along with discussing these findings,
French will also explore the implications that this surprising information could have
on our understanding of our Solar System and its origins.
A professional astronomer for over 30 years, French earned her bachelor’s degree in
astronomy from Indiana University, as well as a master’s and Ph.D. from Cornell University.
Along with being a regular observer at observatories in both Arizona and Chile, French
has conducted extensive research on 18th-century astronomer John Goodricke, about whom she has written many papers. A recipient
of the 2016 Kemp Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence, the University’s highest
teaching honor, French joined the faculty at Illinois Wesleyan in 2002.
The “Lunch and Learn” session will take place from 12:10 to 12:40 p.m. in the Governor
Fifer Courtroom. Those attending are encouraged to bring a lunch and join the discussion.