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Cosmic Collisions Lecture at Caltech


Dr. Donald Yeomans, Senior Research Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Lab, will be giving a lecture at Beckman Auditorium at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. The lecuture will be on Wednesday, December 7, 1994 at 8PM, and is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

Cosmic Collisions and Near-Earth Objects

There is an increasing realization that the Earth runs its course about the sun embedded within a large population of comets and asteriods. The orbits of these so-called near-Earth objects allow them to closely approach the Earth, and the smallest members of this population routinely strike the Earth without consequence. However, the July 1994 collision of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with Jupiter underscores the extraordinary power of a direct hit by a large comet or asteroid. While Earth collisions by large near-Earth objects are very unlikely, the catastrophic consequences of such an event demand that we establish a rather complete census of these bodies and then monitor their future motions. Dr. Yeomans will outline what we know about Earth's closest neighbors and what programs are underway to find out more.

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