Prof. Paul Wiegert

The University of Western Ontario
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Date of Live Presentation: Thu, 17-Mar-2022

Talk Introductory Video: Click here to view


Asteroids: why they are so interesting, and why we worry about them


From the bright fireball and explosion that caused injuries and damaged buildings in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in 2013, to the recent November 2020 discovery by a Canadian student of an asteroid speeding past Earth, through the planned 2022 asteroid deflection test mission called DART, and the predicted 2029 pass through the Earth's geostationary satellite belt by the large asteroid Apophis, we'll examine recent developments in the field of near-Earth asteroids. The talk will try to answer the questions: What are asteroids exactly? How do astronomers search for them? Why are asteroids exciting scientifically? What dangers do they pose?

Short bio

Paul Wiegert is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University. His research interests include the discovery and characterization of asteroids, and the gravitational interactions of near-Earth asteroids with our planet. He and his students have discovered over 70 asteroids.

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