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Colloquium

Catastrophic Collisions in the Solar System

2017-11-21
  • Speaker : Dr. Heidi B. Hammel (AURA Executive Vice President)
  • Date : 2018-02-28 14:00 ~ 15:00
  • Location : JYS 331-2
  • Host : Dr. Narae Hwang

Catastrophic collisions have shaped the destiny of the Solar System, and perhaps even humankind.  In 1994, a series of massive explosions occurred on Jupiter after the remnants of a fractured comet plunged into that planet's atmosphere. Dr. Hammel led the Hubble Space Telescope team that tracked these explosions.  When a fresh Jupiter impact site was discovered just 15 years later, Dr. Hammel and her colleagues used Hubble and the Gemini Observatory to determine that this was the result of an errant asteroid. Dr. Hammel will explain what happened on Jupiter during these cosmic collisions.  More importantly, she will explain the implications of such cosmic collisions for us here on Earth.  She will conclude with how AURA’s facilities (Hubble, Gemini, the Blanco telecope’s DECam, and the soon-to-be-completed LSST) will help us predict and prevent catastrophic impacts on Earth.