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ESOcast 168: NEOs — Near Earth Objects

29 Jun 2018, 14:00 UTC
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Near Earth Objects (NEOs) are bodies in the Solar System with orbits that can bring them into close proximity with the Earth. Every day, many of these objects collide with our planet, but most are too small to have any noticeable effect. However, there are larger objects that lurk within our Solar System with the potential to impact the Earth, like the large Chelyabinsk meteor in 2013, or even larger -- like the devastating asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. With the fate of the world at stake, scientists and engineers are working hard to protect us from these collisions. In ESOcast 168 we hear from Olivier Hainaut, an ESO astronomer, who explains the origin and nature of NEOs. He will also explore the potential threat NEOs pose to life on Earth, how we study them with ESO telescopes like the VLT, and how scientists plan to shield the Earth from this extraterrestrial threat.

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