Imiloa, Hilo Attractions | March 11, 2017
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March 11, 2017

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'The NEO Hazard: NASA & Planetary Defense' Talk by Rob Landis and Kelly Fast

Time: 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Cost: $10 ($8 for members)
Location: Planetarium

The NEO Hazard:  NASA & Planetary Defense

Talk by Rob Landis of NASA Houston Space Flight Center & Kelly Fast

Near-Earth Objects or ‘NEOs’ are the leftover bits of solar system jetsam and flotsam that have been nudged into orbits, allowing them to come within the vicinity of our planet. NASA recently established a new office to coordinate planetary defense-related activities across various U.S. agencies, as well as international efforts to plan a response to the potential asteroid impact hazard.  The creation of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) is a logical and formal maturation of NASA’s NEO Observations Program which began nearly two decades ago.  Since the program’s inception in 1998, NASA-funded endeavors have discovered more than 98% of all new NEOs.  Observatories on Hawai'i Island and Maui are key in the initial discovery and to better understand the makeup of these celestial denizens of our neighborhood.

In their presentation, Kelly Fast and Rob Landis will share the current efforts to detect, track, and characterize comets and asteroids that come close to the Earth.  And, if need be, the steps taken to deflect a potential asteroid on an impact trajectory.

Read more about this Astronomy Talk on our Blog Post