Dr Andrew Prentice

Recent Discoveries in the Outer Solar System and their Implications for the System’s Origin

Held On Saturday 18 November

Dr Andrew Prentice

“Mathematician Dr Andrew Prentice is considered a world leader when it comes to explaining the formation of the solar system, though, as Andrew found out the hard way, when your ideas are bold and your calculations sharp, it can be hard to be taken seriously”.

Mercury rising published by Trinity College.
The story of Dr Andrew Prentice

Click on VIDEO to see a recording of the Seminar.

What a coup for U3A Port Phillip to have had Dr Andrew Prentice present a fascinating account of his groundbreaking work on our solar system. Dr Prentice was invited to give the inaugural Saturday seminar in 2003 by U3APP founding member Heather Wheat. He later gave the 10th anniversary seminar and now the 20th anniversary seminar.

We heard that new discoveries have come about because of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flybys of Pluto and its family of moons, and of the tiny Kuiper Belt object Arrokoth. Until those flybys, very little was known about Pluto or its moons. Nothing was known about Arrokoth. The flybys provided a unique opportunity for Dr Prentice to test his Modern Laplacian Theory of The Solar System Origin.

This theory successfully predicted that Pluto’s crust was made mostly of methane ice and that Pluto’s largest moon Charon was once an ocean world. He also correctly predicted that Arrokoth’s surface would be smooth and crater-free and have no water ice.

Not only is Dr Prentice passionate about his research, but he is a witty and entertaining teacher.

Our thanks go to Dr Prentice and to Heather Wheat, seminar facilitator.

Pam Caven, U3APP Saturday Seminars

How to Enrol

On-line: after bookings have opened

On-line enrolments are preferred as this significantly reduces the amount of back-office work for our volunteers.

  • Login to the U3APP.org.au website.
  • Go to the Courses & Enrolling page.
  • Scroll down to find the course that you are interested in.
  • Does the course have spaces available?
    • Click on the course name to go to the booking page.
    • Click on “Book for this course or event”.
    • You will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.
  • OR is the course shown as FULL?
    • Click on WAITLIST.

Paper Enrolment Form: before bookings open for First Semester

  • Obtain a paper Enrolment Form either from the Office or by printing an online copy available here.
  • Complete the paper Enrolment Form and submit it to the Office.

The start date for acceptance of paper Enrolment Forms for first semester is published on the U3APP website and in the e-Bulletin. Enrolment Forms received before this date are treated as though they had been received on the start date (ie there is no advantage to be gained by submitting early). On the start date and thereafter, paper Enrolment Forms are numbered in order of receipt.  Paper Enrolment forms are processed by U3APP volunteers on the same day as on-line bookings.

If your enrolment is successful, you will receive a confirmation email.  Please check your Junk/Spam folders as these automatically-generated emails often finish up there.

If your enrolment is unsuccessful,  you will receive an email telling you that you have been waitlisted.

Via the Office: after bookings have opened

  • Contact the office in person, or by email or phone.