NASA Senior Scientist Will Discuss Taking a Hit: Asteroid Impacts & Evolution
- From: baalke@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 14 Sep 2007 09:18:54 -0700
NASA Senior Scientist Will Discuss Taking a Hit: Asteroid Impacts &
October 03, 2007
7 to 8:30 p.m.
As part of the ninth annual Silicon Valley Astronomy Lecture Series,
Astronomer David Morrison, of NASA's Ames Research Center, will
present Taking a Hit: Asteroid Impacts & Evolution, an illustrated,
non-technical talk, Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. in the Smithwick
Theatre at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. Admission is free
and the public is invited. Seating is on a first-come, first-served
basis. Arrive early to locate parking.
Asteroids have hit the Earth many times, and they will continue to
hit in the future, whether we are prepared or not. Collisions with
our planet over 4.5 billion years have profoundly influenced the
evolution of life. In fact, were it not for the impact of one
15-kilometer-wide asteroid 65 million years ago, it is likely
humanity would not be here.
Asteroid impacts are important for our future as well as our past.
In the last two decades we have learned not only how to evaluate the
impact hazard but also (in principle) how to defend ourselves. The
astronomers operating the Spaceguard Survey of Near-Earth Asteroids
have already reduced the risk of
fatality from unknown asteroids by at least 75 percent. Unlike other
natural hazards, we now have the capability of removing most of the
impact risk within the next generation. However, the government
still does not have a plan of action for when an asteroid is
discovered heading our way or when an impact happens without warning.
One of the world's experts on the study of asteroid impacts, David
Morrison is the senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute,
where he participates in a variety of
research programs in the study of the living universe. He is the
author of more than 155 technical papers and has published a dozen
books, including several widely used college textbooks in astronomy.
He is the recipient of numerous awards for his scientific and his
educational work, including the Sagan Medal of the American
Astronomical Society for public communication. A founder of the
multidisciplinary field of astrobiology, Asteroid 2410 Morrison is
named in his honor - but he assures us that it is not one of those
that might hit the Earth.
The free lecture series is sponsored by the Foothill College
Astronomy Program, NASA Ames Research Center, SETI Institute
and Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Past lectures from the
series are available in MP3-format online at
Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for $2 (eight
quarters). Parking lots 1, 5, 6, 7 and 8 provide access to the
theatre <http://www.foothill.fhda.edu/news/maps.html>. Foothill
College is located on El Monte Road off Interstate 280. For more
information, access www.foothill.edu or call (650) 949-7888.
Phone us at: (650) 949-7888
Click here for more information. <http://www.foothill.edu/ast/>
Check this link for additional information:
Special Notice: Visitors must purchase a campus parking permit for
$2; arrive early to locate parking.
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