Asteroid Apocalypse

Asteroids, meteors, and comets that orbit near the Earth (collectively referred to as Near-Earth Objects, or NEOs) pose an existential threat to all of humanity. Mitigating the danger posed by NEOs is a complex issue and one that must involve scientists and policy makers from around the world working together. In this course students will: learn about the nature of NEOs (their orbits, masses, compositions, etc); explore what methods are currently available that can be used to try and stop a NEO from colliding with the Earth, and what new technologies may need to be developed; and take a cross-cultural view of the various public policy approaches to preparing for and dealing with an impact on Earth. The course will culminate with the students working in teams to respond to a hypothetical NEO impact scenario.

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