Carrie Nugent: Adventures of an asteroid hunter
Carrie Nugent - Asteroid hunter
Carrie Nugent is part of a team that uses NASA's NEOWISE telescope to search the skies for and catalog asteroids. Full bio
and the oceans between them.
over four billion years ago
may not appear special,
from earthly metals.
that can only form out in space
can cool extremely slowly,
of a much larger object,
after the planets formed.
and most numerous cosmic neighbors.
orbiting around the Sun,
have been greatly exaggerated
are searching for these objects,
as a giant public works project,
we're charting outer space,
that will last for generations.
discovered just last year.
around the Sun determined.
from asteroid to asteroid,
can be predicted for dozens of years.
predicted with incredible precision.
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory
was going to be four years in advance
this beautiful asteroid fragment
over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.
every 50 years or so.
and animal species were lost,
about 10 kilometers across,
the cruising altitude of a 747 jet.
and imagine a rock so enormous
one full minute to fly past it.
that hit the Earth.
a credible threat to our planet.
a focused effort underway
to be part of this effort.
that use NASA's NEOWISE telescope.
designed to find asteroids.
and look far beyond our solar system
and the most luminous galaxies.
for its designed lifetime of seven months.
it's still going.
to discover and study asteroids.
a wonderful little space robot,
its sensors is long gone,
its air-conditioning is broken.
on the odometer,
of the sky every 11 seconds.
since I began speaking to you.
in the thermal infrared.
the sunlight that asteroids reflect,
since some asteroids are as dark as coal
to spot with other telescopes.
shine brightly for NEOWISE.
every technique at their disposal
over 90 percent of asteroids
of massive destruction to Earth.
could decimate a medium-sized country.
25 percent of those.
for near-Earth asteroids.
able to understand calculus
with significant early warning,
or volcanic eruptions,
can be precisely predicted
is map near-Earth space.
About the speaker:Carrie Nugent - Asteroid hunter
Carrie Nugent is part of a team that uses NASA's NEOWISE telescope to search the skies for and catalog asteroids.
Why you should listen
Dr. Carrie Nugent is an asteroid hunter who works with a small team to discover and study asteroids at Caltech/IPAC. She earned her PhD in Geophysics and Space Physics from UCLA in 2013 and is a 2016 TED Fellow. Specializing in thermophysical modeling, Nugent uses observations from the space-based infrared telescope NEOWISE to better understand asteroid surfaces. Asteroid 8801 Nugent was named in her honor.
In her free time, Nugent hosts and produces Spacepod. On this weekly podcast, she invites astronomers, planetary scientists and engineers to sit, share a drink and tell the world about their corner of the cosmos.
Carrie Nugent | Speaker | TED.com