The Chelyabinsk Impact of 2013
On the bright sunny morning of 15th February 2013, the sky fell over southern Russia. An asteroid entered the Earth's atmosphere and produced largest known impact suffered by the planet Earth for over 100 years. Producing a fireball brighter than the Sun, over a thousand people were injured by the resulting shockwave. In less than a year, astronomers have discovered where the asteroid came from, and what happened during the impact. It has allowed scientists to refine their models of asteroid impacts and re-evaluate the risk posed by small asteroids. This presentation will give an overview of what we have learned so far from the Chelyabinsk impact, the implications for the future, and why we should all install dashboard cameras in our cars!
About Alan Fitzsimmons
Alan Fitzsimmons is a Professor of Astronomy in the Astrophysics Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast. His field of expertise is the study of asteroids and comets. He is currently co-leading the Pan-STARRS inner solar system key project, assessing telescope proposals at the European Southern Observatory, working within the NEOShield project and analysing his comet ISON data. In the past year he has featured on The Sky at Night and Horizon, and given many talks on astronomy. His wife will allow him to have a pet dog when he retires.