These rocky objects orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter, but some come much closer to our planet. Major collisions are exceedingly rare, but are capable of causing global catastrophes. So scientists are using state-of-the-art technology to track all near-Earth asteroids. Find out how they calculate the probability of a collision, how future impacts might be mitigated, and what impact craters and specimens tell us. Meteorites like the 4.5-billion-year-old asteroid fragment that was recently added to the Museum's collection provide important clues about the early stages of our solar system.
On Friday, October 25, Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson is hosting a discussion with a group of astronauts and cosmonauts who helped develop recommendations to the United Nations for defending Earth from asteroid impact. The event, which is free with Museum admission, will be held at 11 am in the Cullman Hall of the Universe and streamed live at amnh.org/live.
Support for the development of Science Topics was generously provided by Sidney and Helaine Lerner, GRACE Communications Foundation.