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Dr. Baratoux, Astronomy Professor and Astrophysicist, visits ISD Physics Class

Astronomer David Baratoux presented on meteorites and meteor impact on September 25th to our High School Physics students.

Dr. Baratoux is an astronomy professor at the University of Toulouse in France, but for the past five years he has worked l’Institut de Recherche pour le Développement et à Institut Fondamental d’Afrique Noire, linked with the Cheikh Anta Diop University here in Dakar.   He was the doctoral thesis advisor for Senegal's first PhD Astronomer.

Most recently, he coordinated with several dozen NASA astronomers during their trip to Senegal in early August to map the path of a very small dwarf planet (MU69) that orbits our sun out beyond Pluto.  NASA's New Horizon space probe will pass very close to this dwarf planet in January!  What is most interesting about this is that the New Horizons space probe was launched in early 2006, but  MU69 was only discovered in 2014; using the Hubble Space Telescope.   So it is complete luck that this dwarf planet happens to be near the New Horizons Probe's path!

Dr. Baratoux has generously donated a copy of a book about meteors and impact crators to ISD's library.   Stop in and have a look or check it out for a few days.

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