Dr. Bill Cooke and Rhiannon Blaauw answered questions on Jan. 12, 2012 about meteors, meteorites and comets and their potential danger to spacecraft.
Cooke, the lead for NASA's Meteoroid Environmental Office, and Blaauw, a meteor physicist, both have astronomy degrees and work in the Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The MEO provides NASA with models of the meteoroid environment, which are used in the design of protective shields on spacecraft. The MEO improves models by analyzing meteor observations data collected by using equipment such as radar and all-sky and low-light-level cameras. The all-sky cameras currently are being placed around the United States. They detect fireballs, or very bright meteors, every night and post the results on a public website. Looking at these data help Cooke and Blaauw determine the number and size of space rocks hitting Earth every day, how fast they were going, and whether or not Earth is experiencing a meteor shower.
› Space Math: Problem 18 - Meteorite Impact Risks
› Space Math: Problem 26 - Astronomy as a Career
› Finding Impact Craters With Landsat →
› Find a Meteorite →
› NASA's All Sky Fireball Network →
› Lunar Impacts
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