Dangerous Encounters: The Hunt for Asteroids
Wednesday, April 25; 7:00 p.m.
With Richard P. Binzel, PhD, professor of planetary sciences, MIT; member of NASA’s Task Force on Planetary Defense | Timothy B. Spahr, PhD, director, Minor Planet Center, Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
This presentation is part of the Lowell Astronomy series.
Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) pose a long-term hazard to our planet. Past scars tell of many devastating impacts, some of which nearly snuffed out life on Earth. Astronomer Timothy Spahr collects and analyzes data from an average of 1,000 new asteroids per day, notifying NASA headquarters when an object’s orbit will bring it close to Earth. Professor Richard Binzel is an expert in what these NEOs are composed of, where they come from, and how they may be a factor in future space exploration.
In June 2011, a newly discovered asteroid named 2011MD passed within 7,500 miles of Earth—the fifth-closest recorded asteroid encounter. How much of a threat does an asteroid impact pose today?
Join us in the Charles Hayden Planetarium, New England’s most technologically advanced digital theater, to journey into the asteroid belt and hear the latest news from two figures at the forefront of planetary defense.
Advance registration begins at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, April 11 (Sunday, April 8 for Museum members)
More about this season of Adult Offerings at the Museum of Science:
We are changing our worldand it is changing us. Join us as we explore forces of nature—volcanoes, asteroids, weather—that we cannot control.
Think critically about our impact on a food system that profoundly affects us and our planet. Engage in a scientific look at creativity, a critical resource for shaping the future and one that you can harness yourself.
We are constantly adding to our seasonal lineup of special guest lectures, panel discussions, podcasts, social event, and more. To stay in touch with the latest Museum Happenings, visit mos.org/events.
The Museum takes a hands-on approach to science, engineering and technology, attracting about 1.5 million visitors a year via its programs and 700 interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof. Highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 3-D Digital Cinema and Butterfly Garden. Reaching 25,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. The Museum’s “Science Is an Activity” exhibit plan has been awarded many NSF grants and influenced science centers worldwide. Its National Center for Technological Literacy® aims to enhance knowledge of engineering and technology for people of all ages and inspire the next generation of engineers, inventors, and scientists. The Museum is ranked #3 by Parents Magazine in its list of the country’s “Ten Best Science Centers." For more information, visit mos.org.
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