RASC Regular Meeting September 11, 2017 Alberta’s role in a new global fireball observatory

RASC Regular Meeting
TELUS World of Science – IMAX Theatre
FREE and open to the public.

7:00 PM Pre-meeting mix and mingle.
7:30 PM Guest Speaker

Dr. Chris Herd
Alberta’s role in a new global fireball observatory

Tagish Lake Meteorite

The tracking of bright meteors (“fireballs”) can result in the recovery of meteorites, as long as there are a good number of observations from different viewpoints, and the conditions and landscape are optimal for recovery. Rapid recovery of meteorites – especially from ice- or snow-covered surfaces – preserves them against weathering at the Earth’s surface. Once curated and studied, the meteorites can provide new insights into the geology of their parent asteroids and planets. At the same time, good fireball observations enable the orbits of meteoroids to be determined. Examples from important western Canadian meteorite falls will be presented, along with plans for the Western Canada portion of a new, global fireball observatory.

Chris Herd is a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta and is the curator of the U of A’s meteorite collection. He currently serves as the only Canada-based member of the Returned Sample Science Board for the NASA Mars 2020 Rover mission. His research involves carrying out detailed studies of various meteorite types to gain insights into their conditions of formation, as well as the best methods of curation and handling of pristine planetary materials, including those from sample return missions.