EAC Discovery Park Campus to host Desert Sky Gazers for “Asteroid Impacts”
By Jeanné Clark
THATCHER, AZ—EAC's Discovery Park Campus, in partnership with the Desert Sky Gazers amateur astronomy club, will host another presentation of the Sky Gazers Presents slide lecture series on Saturday, October 3, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. in the Jupiter Room. This free, family-friendly presentation is titled “Asteroid Impacts” and will be presented by Desert Sky Gazers member David Hiatt.
“Many recent movies have centered on this topic,” says the dean of Discovery Park Campus, Harry Swanson, “and some have even explored probable extinction of dinosaurs and post-Pleistocene megafauna by asteroid or comet impacts on Earth.”
Swanson goes on to describe one interesting event called the Tunguska Event. This occurred in 1909 and is believed to have been an air burst over the area by a comet, one which created an explosion the equivalent of approximately 15 megatons of TNT. “Because the Earth's surface is dynamic, it is constantly repairing the obvious signs of past impacts, but new science and technology is allowing us to see many of the impact craters from long ago,” explains Swanson.
“This is such a timely subject, considering that even now, NASA has increased research on Near Earth Crossing Objects and Near Earth Asteroids (NEA) in order to provide warning and planning time should Earth be threatened with another collision,” he says. “After all, an asteroid recently shot past Earth at a distance of less than that of the Moon, and the object was discovered by an Australian amateur astronomer only days before the passage.”
Swanson urges everyone to come to this event. “This will be a great program, so come visit our campus as David leads us on an exploration of some of the most dramatic collisions in our Earth's history.”
For more information about this event or Discovery Park Campus, contact Swanson at 428-6260.