UF Astronomy Colloquium

  • 26 Oct 2017
  • 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM
  • Room 217 of Bryant Space Science Building, University of Florida

We are very excited  to have Dr. Amy Mainzer of JPL/NASA visiting us this week. Amy  is a senior research scientist at NASA . Her research interests focus on asteroids, comets and astronomical instrumentation.  She is the Deputy Project Scientist for WISE and the PI for the NEOWISE project to study minor planets. Amy will be giving two talks this week.  She will be giving an Astronomy Colloquium on Thursday Oct 26 at 12:45pm in Bryant Room 217. The title of her talk is Getting to Know Earth’s Neigbors: Asteroids and Comets.  The abstract is given below.  In addition, Amy will be giving 2 public talks at Starry Night, on Friday Oct. 27, one for children at 6:30pm and one for the general public at 8:30pm. Hope to see you at one of these talks!

Abstract for Colloquium

Asteroids and comets have played a key role in the evolution of life on Earth. Over the last two decades, significant progress has been made in identifying and tracking the largest Earth-approaching objects, but more work remains to be done to discover a majority of smaller objects. Surveys offer a powerful means of discovering and providing basic physical characterization of minor planets throughout the solar system. One such survey is provided by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission, which has been repurposed for studying near-Earth objects (NEOs) and identifies large, low albedo NEOs. However, it was not originally designed for this purpose, and natural changes to its orbit will eventually bring an end to the mission. The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) has been proposed as a mission capable of carrying out a more comprehensive survey for NEOs using large-format infrared detectors that are passively cooled.

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