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Presented on ZOOM 30th June at 7pm for World Asteroid Day



Asteroids are relatively small planet like objects that inhabit an area mainly between Jupiter and Mars but they can be found anywhere in the Solar System, many having very erratic orbits.

They are rocky in nature and have been left over from the formation of the solar system.  They vary hugely in size from tiny rocks to Ceres, which is over 900km in size.  Of particular interest to us are the NEOs Near Earth Objects which wander into or close to the path of our Earth.

In this talk Carrie Nugent will give an overview of our neighbours in Space and examine the threat posed by NEOs to our planet.




Dr. Carrie Nugent

Dr. Carrie Nugent is a scientist, a professor, an author, a TED senior fellow, an enthusiastic science communicator and a firm believer that space exploration is for everyone.

Her research focuses on asteroid detection. An asteroid impact is the only natural disaster we have the technology to prevent. But since prevention takes time, it’s important to search for near-Earth asteroids now. Working with Olin students, Dr. Nugent uses techniques such as machine learning to discover asteroids in large data sets. Before coming to Olin, she was a member of NASA’s NEOWISE and NEOCam asteroid-hunting mission teams and a scientist at Caltech/IPAC.

A TED Senior Fellow, her talk “Adventures of an Asteroid Hunter” has been viewed over a million times. She is the author of the popular science book “Asteroid Hunters” (2017, TED Books, Simon and Schuster). She produces and hosts Spacepod, a podcast that features casual conversations with astronomers, planetary scientists and engineers. She also wrote the script for this TED-ED animation  about the first asteroid ever discovered.

Credit: Olin College of Engineering





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