“Real and Perceived Risks of Asteroid Impacts”
The Centre for Crisis Studies and Mitigation presents Prof. Alan Fitzsimmons, Queen’s University Belfast.
Asteroid and comet collisions with the Earth are a classic example of a low-probability, high-consequence risk. Public reaction to this topic ranges from “it’ll never happen” to “we’re doomed”, partly due to the complexity of understanding that risk. In this webinar we will introduce what is known about Near-Earth Objects, how we discover and track them, and how that translates into impact probabilities of varying societal consequence. After describing the current risk, we will cover how we are currently attempting to mitigate that risk through both astronomical observations and space missions, and why this risk will not disappear in our lifetimes.
Alan Fitzsimmons is a Professor of Astronomy at Queen's University Belfast. His field of research is measuring the properties of comets and asteroids. Highlights of his work have been studying the effects of the collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter, studying the first small asteroid predicted to enter our atmosphere, and investigating the first interstellar objects found passing through our Solar system. He has sat on bodies including the Council of the Royal Astronomical Society and the ESA/NASA Hubble Space Telescope Time Allocation Committees. Currently he is an active member of the Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System (ATLAS) and the ESA Hera planetary defence mission. Neither Asteroid (4985) Fitzsimmons not Comet C/2018X2 Fitzsimmons will hit the Earth, which is a good thing as far as he is concerned.
For more information and to register: https://bit.ly/3kVkyYu.
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