In 2017 a strange object was discovered by near-Earth asteroid surveys, with the appearance of a small asteroid, but an orbit that showed it to have come from another star. Dr Snodgrass will describe what we learned about this object, called ‘Oumuamua, and what we are now learning about the second interstellar object, comet Borisov, which was discovered in September last year and is currently being observed with large telescopes as it departs from the Sun. In addition to what we can observe remotely, he will also describe a newly-approved ESA space mission that may one day investigate an interstellar object up close: Comet Interceptor.
Dr Colin Snodgrass started his career at St Andrews as an undergraduate, before moving to Queen’s University Belfast for his PhD, and then research fellowships at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, and the Open University in England. He moved to Edinburgh to take up his current position (Chancellor’s Fellow) in 2018. He combines observational studies of comets and asteroids with work on space missions to visit them. He was part of the ESA Rosetta mission, and is now deputy Principal Investigator for Comet Interceptor.
** MOVING ONLINE ** Because of the coronavirus situation, this lecture will no longer be taking place at the museum. Instead, we have made arrangements for Members to view it online.
PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL FOR A LINK TO REGISTER FOR THE ONLINE EVENT
If you haven’t received an email, please contact us for details.