LPL Evening Lecture: Dr. Dani DellaGiustina

Exploring Hazardous Asteroids with the OSIRIS Spacecraft

Dani DellaGiustina Evening Lecture on November 15


7 to 8 p.m., Nov. 15, 2023


Exploring Hazardous Asteroids with the OSIRIS Spacecraft

The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft mission characterized and collected a sample from asteroid (101955) Bennu. After the OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Capsule is released to Earth's surface in 2023, the spacecraft will divert into a new orbit that encounters asteroid (99942) Apophis in 2029, enabling a second mission with the same unique capabilities: OSIRIS–Apophis Explorer (APEX). On April 13, 2029, the 340-m-diameter Apophis flies within ~32,000 km of Earth's surface, <1/10th the lunar distance. Apophis will be the largest object to approach Earth this closely in recorded history. This rare planetary encounter will alter Apophis' orbit, subject it to tidal forces that change its spin state and may seismically disturb its surface. APEX will distantly observe Apophis during its Earth encounter and capture its evolution in real-time, revealing the consequences of an asteroid undergoing tidal disturbance by a major planet. The spacecraft's instrument suite will subsequently provide high-resolution data of a "stony" asteroid—advancing knowledge of these objects and their connection to meteorites. Near the mission's end, APEX will perform Regolith Excavation by S/C Thrusters; a technique demonstrated at Bennu. Observations during and after excavation will provide insight into the material properties of stony asteroids. Furthermore, Apophis' material and structure have critical implications for planetary defense.

This event is free and open to the public. All lectures will take place in the University of Arizona Kuiper Space Sciences Lecture Hall, room 308 and livestream via Zoom.

The Kuiper building is located at 1629 E. University Blvd. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Parking in university surface parking lots is free after 5 p.m. Please be careful not to park in service or reserved spaces. Parking in the Cherry Avenue Garage is available after 5 p.m. at a cost of $1.00 per hour.

Register for Zoom webinar.

Learn more about Dr. Dani DellaGiustina.

For more information, visit the LPL Evening Lecture Series page.