Somewhere out there in the cosmos, odds are there's a big asteroid with our name on it—one that threatens not just to give Earth a close shave but actually to strike our planet.
If that sounds like hyperbole, consider this: experts say there are about a million near-Earth asteroids that are large enough to substantially damage or destroy a major city. NASA's Asteroid Watch, part of the agency's Near Earth Object Program, has its eye on more than 1,400 potentially dangerous space rocks.
Is there anything we can do to safeguard our planet--and ourselves--from such an asteroid strike? That's the question Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of the New York City's Hayden Planetarium, is exploring today in a panel discussion being held at the American Museum of Natural History.
For the talk, the celebrated astrophysicist will be joined by five members of the Association of Space Explorers' (ASE) Near Earth Objects Committee, including former NASA astronaut and ASE co-founder Russell Schweickart.