UNK Planetarium presents Jan. 5 shows on status of Pluto, enigma of extraterrestrial life

Adam Jensen

KEARNEY – The University of Nebraska at Kearney Planetarium will host back-to-back shows on Jan. 5 that will take attendees on a journey from the solar system’s edge to the cosmic question of alien life.

The first show, “Is Pluto A Planet?” will run from 7 to 8 p.m. inside Bruner Hall of Science. Adam Jensen, professor of physics and astronomy, will delve into the history of Pluto since its discovery in 1930 and the controversial decision in 2006 that reclassified it as a “dwarf planet.” The presentation will explore the International Astronomical Union’s contentious definition of a planet and highlight other celestial objects similar to Pluto.

Following a short break, the second show, “Fermi’s Paradox: If We’re Not Alone, Where Is Everybody?” is from 8:15 to 9:15 p.m. Jensen will lead the audience through the perplexing question first posed by physicist Enrico Fermi regarding the existence of extraterrestrial life. The paradox highlights the contradiction between the probability of alien life and the lack of evidence found thus far.

Both shows are free, but due to limited seating, attendees must secure free tickets at https://www.ticketleap.events/events/unk-planetarium

Those without tickets may be permitted entry at the presenter’s discretion if reserved seats are not claimed within five minutes of the show’s start time.