Are we helpless against the kind of asteroid impacts that wiped out the dinosaurs? Not if we DO look up! For several decades there have been multiple surveys to chart and track potentially hazardous Near-Earth Objects (NEO) which can cause significant disasters if they hit the Earth. Join our conversation with two astronomers who have already tracked many NEOs and are working on NASA's next NEO-seeking space telescope called the NEO Surveyor.
PHIL LAMARR (Host)
A Los Angeles native, Phil is an alumnus of Yale University and The Groundlings Theater and perhaps is best known as one of the original cast members of MAD TV, as “Hermes” on FUTURAMA, as "Marvin" in PULP FICTION, “Green Lantern” on JUSTICE LEAGUE and as the voice of SAMURAI JACK. For over 30 years Phil has thrilled audiences with his work on camera and behind the microphone on TV shows such as STATIC SHOCK, FAMILY GUY, STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS, the CW’s THE FLASH & SUPERGIRL, GET SHORTY, LUCIFER and VEEP; feature films like MADAGASCAR 2, INCREDIBLES 2, and THE LION KING (2019) and video games including FORTNITE, SHADOW OF MORDOR, and the INJUSTICE, METAL GEAR SOLID, and the MORTAL KOMBAT series.
AMY MAINZER (Astronomer)
Prof. Mainzer's research focuses on understanding the populations of small bodies in our solar system, including characterizing their basic physical and dynamical properties and the potential impact hazards they may pose to Earth. Prof. Mainzer uses orbital and ground-based facilities for this work. She serves as the Principal Investigator for NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission, an Earth-orbiting satellite that uses infrared sensors to characterize asteroids and comets. She is also leading NASA's Near-Earth Object (NEO) Surveyor mission, currently in development, which will carry out a comprehensive survey for the most potentially hazardous NEOs.
JOE MASEIRO (Astronomer)
Dr. Joseph Masiero received his Bachelor's in Astronomy & Astrophysics from Penn State University in 2004, and his Doctorate in Astronomy from the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, in 2009. He is currently a Solar System Scientist at Caltech/IPAC, the Deputy Principal Investigator of the NEOWISE mission, and a member of the NEO Surveyor mission team. Dr. Masiero's research focuses on the physical and dynamical properties of near-Earth asteroids and Main Belt asteroids, with a special interest in the polarization of light reflected by these bodies.