Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Queen's University scientist warns of asteroid danger

21.06.2017

A leading astrophysicist from Queen's University Belfast has warned that an asteroid strike is just a matter of time.

Professor Alan Fitzsimmons from the University's Astrophysics Research Centre has said it is a case of when an asteroid collision will happen, rather than if it will happen.


This is an Asteroid impact near the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013.

Credit: Alan Fitzsimmons


This is Alan Fitzsimmons at the UK Telescopes on La Plama CREDIT ALAN FITZSIMMONS.

Credit: Alan Fitzsimmons

Joined by scientist Brian Cox and astronauts such as Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and International Space Station astronaut Nicole Stott, Professor Fitzsimmons is highlighting the threat for Asteroid Day, a global event next Friday (30 June).

On that day in 1908, a small asteroid exploded over Tunguska in Siberia and devastated 800 square miles. Professor Fitzsimmons is warning that a similar unexpected strike in today's world could easily destroy a major city and a larger asteroid could be more dangerous.

Professor Fitzsimmons commented: "It is important to know that scientists and engineers have made great strides in detecting Near-Earth Asteroids and understanding the threat posed by them. Over 1,800 potentially hazardous objects have been discovered so far, but there are many more waiting to be found.

"Astronomers find Near-Earth Asteroids every day and most are harmless. But it is still possible the next Tunguska would take us by surprise, and although we are much better at finding larger asteroids, that does us no good if we are not prepared to do something about them."

###

The discussions and presentations will be streamed live from Luxembourg on 30 June at https://asteroidday.org/live/ and experts will be answering any questions from followers via social media. Hundreds of supporting events will be held in over 70 countries.

Professor Fitzsimmons is a member of the NEOshield-2 project, funded by the European Research Council to study how to deflect dangerous asteroids.

Queen's University is also a partner in the Pan-STARRS project in Hawai'i - the most successful asteroid hunter currently in operation, as well as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project, which will provide a quantum leap in asteroid discoveries.

Media Contact

Emma Gallagher
emma.gallagher@qub.ac.uk
289-097-5384

 @QueensUBelfast

http://www.qub.ac.uk 

Emma Gallagher | EurekAlert!

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth
17.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Pluto's hydrocarbon haze keeps dwarf planet colder than expected
16.11.2017 | University of California - Santa Cruz

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>