- July 26, 2021, 2:00 pm US/Central
Speaker: Marco Micheli, NEOCC
Abstract: During the last two decades we’ve seen an increased interest, efforts and investments on the topic of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), the consequence of an increased awareness of the danger they pose to our planet, and of the current technological capabilities to mitigate it, in case a collision can be predicted with sufficient advance notice. The threat from these objects can only be quantitatively assessed by accurately determining their orbits and dynamical evolution, and the key starting point of this process is astrometry, the measurement of the position and motion of an object in the night sky. In this talk we will introduce the asteroid impact threat, and the role played by high-precision astrometry in the assessment of the related risks. We will also briefly present the telescopes, networks and astrometric catalogs that are commonly used in this work, with a particular emphasis on Gaia, the cutting-edge astrometric mission currently operated by the European Space Agency. We will also provide a few examples of challenging astrometric observations, and how they sometimes lead to unique discoveries that extend into other aspects of the astronomical sciences.
For more information, please contact Yu-Dai Tsai at ytsaiATfnal.gov.