During May's GC Skeptics in the Pub, Prof Jonti Horner took us on a whirlwind tour of our rocky neighbours in space and discussed the likelihood of them hitting Earth. We learn about the Earths history of impacts, from those that helped wipe out the dinosaurs to more recently and Chelyabinsk in 2013, impacts to our neighbouring planets and moons, and where the rocks that may impact earth in the furture are currently found.
While we have many rock neighbours that may pose a potential impact threat, Jonti leaves us with a positive note - currently we are in a position to be able to not only identify the treat, but predict when they will hit us, and are able to do something about it.
If you want to get involved in some citizen science and find out more about rocks in space, Jonti recommends downloading the Fireballs in the Sky app on your phone. It allows you to stand in the night sky and know what stars are above you, but also allows you to contribute to fireball sightings in the sky and contribute to astrophysics research data.
Listen to Jonti's talk: click here
Slides: click here
About the speaker
Professor Jonti Horner
Professor (Astrophysics), Centre for Astrophysics, University of Southern Queensland
Professor Jonti Horner is an astronomer and astrobiologist at the Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Southern Queensland, in Toowoomba, Australia. His research includes the search for planets orbiting other stars (exoplanets), the formation and evolution of our Solar system, and the nature of habitability - what factors come together to make a given planet (like the Earth) more or less suitable for the development and survival of life.
The Conversation profle: https://theconversation.com/profiles/jonti-horner-3355