Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids and the Birth of the Solar System
Comets and asteroids are among the Solar System’s very oldest inhabitants, formed within a swirling cloud of gas and dust in the area of space that eventually hosted the Sun and its planets. By studying them at close quarters using spacecraft we can coerce them into revealing their closely-guarded secrets. This offers us a chance to answer some fundamental questions about our planet and its inhabitants.
With recent research from ground-breaking space missions, Catching Stardust tells the story of these enigmatic celestial object, revealing how scientists are using them to help understand a crucial time in our history.
Nathalie Starkey is a geologist and cosmochemist. Following a PhD at Edinburgh University studying the geochemistry of Arctic volcanoes, Nathalie’s post-doctoral work at the Open University shifted her research focus to comet and asteroid samples, including analysing samples returned by the NASA Stardust and JAXA Hayabusa space missions. Nathalie received a British Science Association Media Fellowship in 2013 and regularly appears on television and radio internationally, as well as being a science host on Neil deGrasse Tyson’s popular StarTalk Radio.
The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception in the library.
Image credit: Bloomsbury