Dr Nuno Peixinho
In 1930, Pluto was discovered, and even then there were doubts about its classification as a planet. In 1992 we discovered that Pluto is actually a member of a huge belt of very ice-rich bodies: the Kuiper Belt. In 2006, shortly after the launch of the space mission “New Horizons” towards Pluto, it was reclassified as a dwarf planet. In 2015, the probe “New Horizons” arrives at Pluto, finding many surprises. Following its path, in 2019 the probe arrives at the surprising Arrokoth, discovered just five years earlier. Today, it seeks to prove or disprove the existence of a ninth planet in our solar system yet to be detected. Is it possible? What are these worlds beyond Pluto like?
Nuno Peixinho is a Researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences and at the University of Coimbra. The observational study of small bodies in the Solar System with telescopes is his main area of research, although he also works in other areas of astronomy and planetary sciences, including space debris, solar physics and space meteorology. He is Coordinator of the Astronomy and Space Sciences Promotion Unit (UPACE) of the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra (OGA), where he frequently gives planetarium sessions and night observation sessions with telescopes, also teaching Planetary Sciences in the Master in Astrophysics. and Instrumentation for Space (MAIE) of the Physics Department of the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC). He is the Portuguese Delegate to the ESO Users Committee and has an asteroid named after him.
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