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The Farinella Prize Lecture hosted at ASI

25 June

ASI Headquarters - June 25th 2024

The asteroid hazard is usually associated to the dinosaur extinction which occurred in the aftemath of a giant asteroid impact 66 million years ago. We now know that these catastrophic events do happen on average every 100 million year. Being a statistical estimation, routine impact monitoring and asteroid deflection missions such as DART/LICIAcube are anyway essential for not being caught unprepared.

Yet the most likely hazard, fortunately on a much smaller scale, is posed by the so-called “imminent impactors” i.e. small size asteroids discovered shortly before (days, weeks) they approach the Earth. The challenge they pose is to be able to quickly determine their orbit with enough accuracy to confirm or rule out an impact and in the former case to predict its effects and location on Earth. This issue bears strong synergies with the ASI involvement into Planetary Defence and in particular in the ESA and EU SSA programmes (e.g. the operations of the NEO Coordination Centre at ESRIN; the deployment of the “Flyeye” telescope). On Tuesday 25 June ASI will host the lecture “Imminent impactors: what do we know about them?” by Federica Spoto, originally delivered upon being awarded the 2023 Farinella Prize of the European Planetary Science Society. Federica graduated at the University of Pisa and she is presently working at the IAU – Minor Planet Center (Cambridge, MA). The seminar will be held at 15:00 in Sala Cassini and can be followed on-line at the following link

 Picture: Kamil Crater in Sahara desert


25 June