The impact of a small asteroid in Russia in 2013 reminded everyone of the potential dangers from space. Producing a fireball brighter than the Sun, over a thousand people were injured by the resulting shockwave. Larger asteroids can be much more deadly. In this talk, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons addressed what we know – and what we don’t know – about the asteroids and comets that could be on a collision course.
Alan answered questions on where the asteroids are, how can we detect them, and what could we do if we find one coming our way.
Alan Fitzsimmons is a Professor of Astronomy in the Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen’s University Belfast. His field of expertise is the study of asteroids and comets.
He co-leads the Pan-STARRS inner solar system project, and works within the NEOShield project on preventing asteroid impacts, among other interests. In the past year he has also been busy on observations supporting the Rosetta mission and featured on BBC programmes such as The Sky at Night and Horizon.
Here are some pictures from the evening: