On February 15, 2013, a meteor weighing 10,000 metric tons exploded above Chelyabinsk, Russia, releasing more than 30 times the energy of the Hiroshima bomb and injuring hundreds. There are more than 10,000 asteroids and comets that can pass near Earth. This lecture by Dr. Aannestad will describe the various groups of objects that may pose a threat, some of the earlier impacts and how we might even prevent or mitigate the effects of a disastrous collision in the future.
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About Dr. Aannestad:
Per Aannestad received his undergraduate degree in astronomy from the University of Oslo, Norway, and his graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. His postdoctoral years from 1971-1975 were spent first at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York and later at Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, studying the far-infrared sky via balloon observations. From 1975, Per was a Professor of Physics and Astronomy at ASU, until he retired in 2004. His research interests were the physics of the interstellar medium, interstellar dust and star formation. He has served on the ASU Emeritus College Council and was the Director of the Emeritus College Academy for Continued Learning from 2009 to 2016. He presently enjoys giving lectures on astronomical topics, hiking, cross-country skiing and is a long-time member of the Scandinavian Folk Dancers of Phoenix.