16 February 2016, Tuesday, 7:45 PM, Presidio Observation Post, Building 211
“A Hard Rain’s a-gonna Fall”
Brian Day, NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute
Throughout the entire history of life on Earth, we have been at the mercy of the deadly impacts by rocks from space. Just ask the dinosaurs! On multiple occasions, devastating impacts from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) have probably wiped out life on Earth, requiring life here to start over again. However, these events are not relegated to Earth’s distant past. Each year, Earth experiences multiple near misses by asteroids and, as in the case of the Chelyabinsk event of 2013, sometimes takes a direct hit. But now, for the first time in the entire history of life on Earth, we have the capability of doing something about it. In this talk, we will examine the threats posed to us by NEOs, explore strategies and technologies to mitigate these threats, and look at ways in which the amateur astronomy community can help save the world.
Brian Day works at NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute where he serves in lead positions for lunar and planetary mapping and modeling, citizen science, and outreach. He is a member of the site selection and analysis teams for the Resource Prospector and Lunar Mission One missions to the Moon, and is supporting analysis of potential human landing sites on Mars. Brian was the Education and Public Outreach Lead for NASA’s LCROSS and LADEE lunar missions. He has participated in a number of Mars analog field studies in some of Earth’s harshest environments, and in 2007, flew on NASA’s Aurigid MAC mission to record fragments of comet Kiess entering Earth’s upper atmosphere.