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Observing the NASA DART impact from a new observatory in Kenya

Mon, 17 Apr


Lecture Theatre

Observing the NASA DART impact from a new observatory in Kenya

by Professor Colin Snodgrass Colin will describe the NASA DART planetary defence mission, which successfully changed the trajectory of a small asteroid in September 2022, and our observations of the results using telescopes on Earth.

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Time & Location

17 Apr, 19:15 – 21:30

Lecture Theatre, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF, UK

About the Event

As the spacecraft was destroyed during the controlled collision, Earth-based observations were critical for measuring the effectiveness of the experiment. The very moment of impact itself was only visible from areas around the Indian Ocean, where there are relatively few observatories. The University of Edinburgh led a programme to set up a new observatory in Kenya to capture images of the DART impact. I will discuss the results of the DART mission, and the challenges and future opportunities presented by establishing a new observatory in this remote location in Africa.


Professor Colin Snodgrass started his career at St Andrews as an undergraduate, before moving to Queen’s University Belfast for his PhD, and then research fellowships at the European Southern Observatory in Chile, the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, and the Open University in England. He moved to Edinburgh to take up his current position (Chancellor’s Fellow) in 2018. He combines observational studies of comets and asteroids with work on space missions to visit them. He has had roles in the ESA Rosetta, Comet Interceptor and Hera missions, and the NASA DART project

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