Comet C2020/F3 & Noctilucent clouds, Leeds, July 2020. (Photo by Stuart Pickles)
May's "Informal" meeting will feature a special talk on 'Near Earth Objects' by Prof. Alan Harris (Senior Scientist at the German Aerospace Center's (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin).
Asteroids and comets are remnant material from the time of planet formation. Studies of their sizes, shapes, compositions, internal structures etc., can inform us about conditions and processes that led to the Solar System as we observe it today, including the existence of life on Earth. However, the same process that led to planet formation, namely collisions between small bodies and growing planets, continues in the Solar System to this day, albeit at a much lower rate. The Earth is still bombarded by asteroids and comets but the rate of impacts is fortunately very low. Nevertheless, awareness of the impact hazard has increased significantly over the past few decades and we are now approaching (or have reached) the level of technical competence at which we could deflect a hazardous object.
But what techniques could we use to deflect an approaching asteroid or comet? I will describe the history and development of one of the most promising techniques for asteroid deflection, namely the so-called “kinetic impactor”. Much progress has been made in recent years and we can now look forward to the first actual test in space of an asteroid deflection technique, which will take place in September.
The meeting will be a "hybrid" with both a physical meeting at the Quakers Meeting House in Leeds, and online via Zoom. Attendance at the Quakers Meeting House will cost £2 for members and £3 for non-members. The Zoom option however is still FREE, but if non-members wish to attend on Zoom, please Contact Us.
The meeting will start at 7.30pm.
Our group is open to everyone with an interest in Astronomy, no matter whether you're a casual observer, armchair astronomer or dedicated astro-photographer. The night sky belongs to everybody and we welcome all comers, whatever age, experience or background!
Astronomy is arguably the oldest science & it is accessible by all. Our society was formed in 1859 and is the oldest surviving amateur Astronomy group in England. Currently we have about 50 members.
Newcomers are welcome to try us out before you decide to join - no obligation!
You will find all you need to know about our meetings, activities and observing sessions on this website. Obviously Covid-19 has limited what we have been able to do this year, with no public observing sessions and no public outreach events, but the society still meets virtually via Zoom and our Groups.io 'chatline'.
Membership rates for 2022 have been held at the reduced 2021 rates (i.e. £5 less than normal).