Congress To Learn About Near-Earth Space Objects: Could "Deep Impact" And "Armageddon" Come True?

June 04, 1998

Is there a real danger to Earth from wandering asteroids, comets, or other space objects, as depicted in such films as "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon" and recent media accounts of the discovery of an asteroid that was initially predicted to come close to Earth in 2030? Members of Congress will be briefed on the current state of knowledge by a panel of astronomers in a program organized by the American Geophysical Union and the American Astronomical Society on June 15.

The panelists are Dr. Carl Pilcher, Science Director, Solar System Exploration, NASA; Dr. Don Yeomans, Senior Research Scientist and Supervisor, Solar System Dynamics Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and Prof. Lucy McFadden, Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland.

In brief presentations, they will discuss the nature of near-Earth objects, how many are known to exist, what dangers they may present, and what they may tell us about the origin of the universe. The panel will then take questions from members and staff for the balance of the hour.

Editors: You are invited to cover this luncheon briefing. It will take place in Room 2237 of the Rayburn House Office Building, from 12:30 to 1:30 PM, on Monday, June 15.

American Geophysical Union

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