Lowell Observatory Colloquia

Near-Earth Asteroid Encounters: Glimpses of Earth's Nearest Neighbors

Nicholas Moskovitz

Lowell Observatory, Giclas Lecture Hall, February 27, 2013 at 3:30 p.m.

Over the past 15 years the number of known near-Earth asteroids has increased exponentially. Consequences of this dramatic increase include a proliferation of planetary missions, and the ability to now predict regular close encounters near or within the Earth-Moon distance. These encounters, both with the Earth and by spacecraft, enable novel investigations into the the compositions and physical properties of these bodies. This information is essential for improving our understanding of formational and evolutionary processes in the Solar System, interpreting links between asteroids and meteorites, and accurate impact hazard assessment. I will present case studies of individual objects to demonstrate how ground-based multi-wavelength observations can take advantage of this revolution in planetary science to provide new insights into the fundamental properties of this largely unexplored population of minor planets.

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