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  Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us (Yeomans)

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Author Topic:   Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us (Yeomans)
cspg
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Posts: 4046
From: Geneva, Switzerland
Registered: May 2006

posted 04-22-2012 08:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for cspg   Click Here to Email cspg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us
by Donald K. Yeomans
Of all the natural disasters that could befall us, only an Earth impact by a large comet or asteroid has the potential to end civilization in a single blow. Yet these near-Earth objects also offer tantalizing clues to our solar system's origins, and someday could even serve as stepping-stones for space exploration. In this book, Donald Yeomans introduces readers to the science of near-Earth objects — its history, applications, and ongoing quest to find near-Earth objects before they find us.

In its course around the sun, the Earth passes through a veritable shooting gallery of millions of nearby comets and asteroids. One such asteroid is thought to have plunged into our planet sixty-five million years ago, triggering a global catastrophe that killed off the dinosaurs. Yeomans provides an up-to-date and accessible guide for understanding the threats posed by near-Earth objects, and also explains how early collisions with them delivered the ingredients that made life on Earth possible. He shows how later impacts spurred evolution, allowing only the most adaptable species to thrive — in fact, we humans may owe our very existence to objects that struck our planet.

Yeomans takes readers behind the scenes of today's efforts to find, track, and study near-Earth objects. He shows how the same comets and asteroids most likely to collide with us could also be mined for precious natural resources like water and oxygen, and used as watering holes and fueling stations for expeditions to Mars and the outermost reaches of our solar system.

Donald K. Yeomans is a fellow and senior research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he is manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office and supervisor of the Solar System Dynamics Group. He is the author of "Comets: A Chronological History of Observation, Science, Myth, and Folklore".

arjuna
unregistered
posted 04-24-2012 02:49 AM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too bad they aren't publishing six months sooner — with all the interest in Diamandis' announcement today, they would probably have to go straight to a second printing.

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