Comets and asteroids are the relatively unchanged bits and pieces leftover from the formation of the Solar System some 4.6 billion years ago. Tons of the smallest members of this population hit the Earth daily while the larger ones can cause global life extinction events every several million years or so. Ironically, those objects that most closely approach the Earth are also the most accessible for exploiting valuable mineral and water resources. To evaluate the threat of a near-Earth object striking the Earth, several telescopic survey teams are systematically searching the skies. Space-based missions are also underway or planned to determine their peculiar physical characteristics. Join Donald Yeomans as he describes the efforts to find, track, and study asteroids and comets that could pose a threat to Earth.
Dr. Donald Yeomans is Manager of NASA's Near Earth Object Program Office. He was a member of the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission team and is currently on the teams for Deep Impact and the Japanese Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission.
Enjoy these free activities before tonight's lecture:
- 6:00 PM Visit a Discovery Station
- 7:00 PM Free Planetarium show - Infinity Express: A 20-minute Tour of the Universe
- 7:30 PM Meet the Speaker - a special question and answer session with Dr. Yeomans about his career
Lecture begin at 8 PM.
This lecture is free, but tickets are required. To request tickets online, please use the lecture ticket request form linked below. Questions call (202) 633-2398 or email email@example.com. The series continues through June.