08/11/2004

Queen’s talk to discuss asteroid impact threat

The prospects and implications of an asteroid impact on Earth will be the topic of the November meeting of the Café Scientifique at Queen’s University.

Dr Alan Fitzsimmons, Reader in the Department of Pure and Applied Physics at Queen's, will give the talk, which is open to all and free of charge, on Tuesday in the Malone Lodge Hotel.

The Belfast branch of Café Scientifique was established by Queen's University's Dr Jill Turner who wants local people to be able to explore the latest ideas in science and technology outside a traditional academic setting.

On average 30- 40 Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) are discovered each month - asteroids and comets that could one day collide with the Earth. Over 3,000 NEOs have been found, and a world-wide effort involving professional and amateur astronomers attempts to keep track of these objects. Now a team of astronomers at Queen's will endeavour to track some of these objects each week using large high-performance telescopes.

Dr Fitzsimmons and his colleagues from the UK Astrometry and Photometry Programme (UKAPP) for Near-Earth Objects, based at the University, are currently tracking NEOs and feeding their information into the international programme of protecting the Earth from any future impact by a comet or asteroid.

(MB)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

18 November 2021
Remote Workers Concerned About Impact On Career
NI workers are concerned about the impact of remote working on their careers, according to new research from Universum, part of hiring platform NIJobs.com.
22 October 2021
Communities In Transition Programme Having Transformative Impact'
Ministers have welcomed the "transformative impact" of the Communities in Transition programme, as they met with community representatives in West Belfast. West Belfast is one of the eight areas supported by the Communities in Transition (CIT) programme.
19 November 2020
Positive Impact For Rural Development Programme
The Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots has met with community groups in Ballymacnab and Redrock in County Armagh to see how funding of £270,000 from the Rural Development Programme (RDP) has made a positive difference for their rural areas.
18 November 2021
Benefit Provision For The Terminally Ill To Be Extended
The Executive has agreed to progress draft legislation to extend terminal illness provision in social security benefits. Proposed by Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey, the draft legislation extends the current six months criterion to twelve months.
04 February 2020
Further Strike Action At NI Universities
Lecturers and support staff at Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University are set to take further strike action. University and College Union (UCU) members will take a further 14 days throughout February and March due to ongoing disputes over pay, workloads and pensions.