Asteroid Week 2023
June 29 | Geosciences Museum Heidelberg
Institut für Geowissenschaften, Im Neuenheimer Feld 234-236, 69120 Heidelberg
7 pm | Talks and Discussion – Asteroids and Apocalypses (in English)
After the talks, we invite you to visit the exhibits on meteorite research in the museum and chat with the experts while having a drink.
Mario Trieloff: Meteorite Impacts on Earth: Boon or Bane from Space?
Meteorites are travellers from space that fall on Earth as small or large rocks. While small meteorites preserve the memory of planet formation processes in the early solar system, large meteorite impacts may be catastrophic, as repeatedly happened in the geologic history of our home planet. Space missions are planned that may deflect celestial objects potentially dangerous to Earth.
Prof. Dr. Mario Trieloff is working at the Insitute of Earth Sciences at the University of Heidelberg. His research focusses on the formation of Earth and other planets in our solar system as well as meteorites. He analyzes dust from meteorites as well as impact craters on Earth in order to find out more about these travellers from space.
Richard Wilman: Frontiers of Space Risk. Natural Cosmic Hazards & Societal Challenges
There is now public awareness that life on Earth is threatened by space hazards, the prime example being the extinction of the dinosaurs by an asteroid or cometary remnant 65 million years ago. Whilst events of this magnitude occur randomly on timescales of millions to billions of years, more moderate events with the ability to disrupt our way of life significantly are expected roughly once per century.
Richard Wilman is a current CAPAS fellow. He graduated from Oxford University in Physics, followed by a PhD in extragalactic astronomy at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge. He held research posts at leading university astronomical centres in the Netherlands, the UK and Australia. In 2011, he took up a teaching-focused post in Physics and Astronomy at Durham University, UK. He co-edited the book 'Frontiers of Space Risk: Natural Cosmic Hazards & Societal Challenges' together with space law and policy expert Prof Christopher Newman.
June 30 (WORLD ASTEROID DAY) | Karlstorkino Heidelberg
Karlstorkino, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 3, 69126 Heidelberg
6 pm | Meteorite Wine Tasting – with Scientific Commentary (in English)
“In order to create an attractive wine brand, the Domaine du Météore winery near the southern French town of Béziers refers with its name to a local peculiarity: one of the vineyards is located in a round depression 200 metres in diameter that resembles an impact crater. Scientists led by cosmochemist Prof. Frank Brenker from Goethe University in Frankfurt have now established through rock and soil analyses that the crater was once actually formed by the impact of an iron-nickel meteorite. In doing so, they disproved a nearly 60-year-old scientific assessment, because of which the crater was never examined more closely from a geological point of view.”
We will be tasting 2 different wines from Domaine du Météore together with CAPAS wine expert Michael Dunn. In addition, Professor Frank Brenker will be presenting scientific insights into his research of the crater.
8 pm | Film Fireball – with Scientific Commentary (in English)
“Following their Academy Award-nominated work on “Encounters at the End of the World” and Emmy-nominated “Into the Inferno,” Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer’s new film “Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds” takes viewers on an extraordinary journey to discover how shooting stars, meteorites and deep impacts have focused the human imagination on other realms and worlds, and on our past and our future.” (Fireball on Apple TV) The film will be accompanied by a scientific commentar and discussion with co-director Professor Clive Oppenheimer and CAPAS Fellow Professor Duane Hamacher.
July 1 | Haus der Astronomie
Haus der Astronomie, MPIA-Campus, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg
11 am | Family Event "Asteroiden, Kometen und Meteorite (in German)
Event for families with children from 6 years of age by and with Carolin Liefke, Natalie Fischer and Esther Kolar
Did you know? Our solar system consists not only of the sun and the eight planets, there is much more! We will explore the world of asteroids and comets with you in our planetarium.
On 1 July, we would like to take a closer look at these celestial bodies together with you and explore what they are made of, what they look like up close or how they were formed. We will look at how the tail of a comet is formed and how you can tell the difference between a meteorite that has fallen to Earth from outer space and normal stones. Together with us, you can try out for yourselves what happens when larger chunks hit other celestial bodies: An impact crater is formed!
6 pm | Talk “Hera und DART: Asteroidenabwehr im Test” (in German)
Lecture by Dr Richard Moissl, Head of the Planetary Defence Office of ESA
Currently, more than 32,000 asteroids are known to approach Earth from time to time - 2300 of them even come so close that they could possibly collide with Earth in the foreseeable future. Although we are not currently in any serious danger from asteroids, the question arises as to what could be done to divert a dangerous asteroid from a collision course.
Dr Richard Moissl heads the European Space Agency's Planetary Defence Office, which develops preventive measures against threats from asteroid impacts ("impact mitigation"), and is coordinating the scientific observations of Didymos and Dimorphos on the Hera mission.