Join Slooh Host Paul Cox and former NASA astronaut Dr. Ed Lu, CEO and co-founder of the B612 Foundation, to discuss the threat posed to mankind by Near-Earth Asteroids and the programs used to detect them. Of the one million asteroids large enough to destroy a city, only 1% of them have been located. Cox and Dr. Lu will discuss the implications of such threats to our Earth as well as those programs currently working to prevent possible asteroid collisions. Slooh also plans to show live images of any NEAs making their close approaches to Earth at that time. The event will start at 6 PM PST / 9 PM EST / 02 UTC (11/25).
Following Slooh’s participation in NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge this week, we are eager to welcome special guest Ed Lu to this broadcast about NEAs. During Ed’s time as a NASA astronaut, he flew three missions, logging 206 days in space to construct and live aboard the International Space Station. This gave him a unique perspective on the vulnerability of our home planet and the measures required to prevent a catastrophe caused by NEAs.
Dr. Lu’s Foundation, B612’s overall mission is to find a way to stop dangerous asteroids from impacting Earth. B612’s ambitious “Sentinel Mission” is a space-based infrared (IR) survey mission to discover and catalog 90 percent of the asteroids larger than 140 meters in Earth’s region of the solar system. The mission should also discover a significant number of smaller asteroids down to a diameter of 30 meters.
Slooh’s own long and tenacious campaign to publicize the ongoing threat from Near-Earth Asteroids has undoubtedly raised the profile of one of the greatest threats facing mankind. Celebrating their 10th anniversary on Christmas Day, Slooh has broadcast live images of many “near miss” asteroids as they made their close approaches to Earth over the last decade. Also Slooh members have formed their own group to use Slooh’s robotic telescopes to monitor the huge numbers of Near-Earth and Potentially Hazardous asteroids while making nightly submissions to the Minor Planet Center, Slooh’s members are helping to determine the orbits of many of these objects.
Slooh’s Paul Cox says “When we realized how many Near-Earth Asteroids were being discovered only days and sometimes hours before they were making their closest approach to Earth, we felt a duty to
raise the profile of this very real threat to Earth. We had a unique capability to do this – to broadcast live images of these potentially catastrophic asteroids as they made their close approaches to Earth”.
Cox says “The hard work of Slooh’s members, and our long campaign to alert the world to this potentially extinction level threat, was acknowledged by NASA when they invited us to participate and make a presentation to the ‘NASA Asteroid Grand Challenge’ workshop in Houston last week. No one organization, or even a single nation can tackle this threat single-handedly – this is one occasion where mankind either has to work and survive together or face the threat of extinction.”
Cox says “Slooh’s specific NEA goal is to mobilize legions of amateur astronomers and citizen
scientists with the tools necessary to help monitor and characterize the huge population of Near-Earth Asteroids. Dr. Ed Lu says ‘If you had the ability to save the world, wouldn’t you?’ The February impact in Russia helped to make the threat far more tangible for the general public. On that same day, we were broadcasting live images of the Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14 as it made its close approach to Earth – closer than the satellites that feed our TVs. If that day wasn’t a wake-up call to mankind, what will it take – the destruction of a city?”