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Asteroid impacts, comets, moon, space missions

H. Jay Melosh H. Jay Melosh Download image

H. Jay Melosh, Distinguished Professor of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciencesand Physics, can discuss a variety of topics including asteroids, comets, the moon and planets. Melosh has served as a member of the science team for three NASA space missions to study comets and one lunar gravity mission.

He is an expert in impact cratering and a co-creator of "Impact: Earth!" a tool to estimate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth. He also is co-author of the 2010 National Research Council report “Defending Planet Earth” that explored the feasibility of detecting all Earth-crossing asteroids greater than 140 meters in diameter and ways to mitigate their hazard.

He also can discuss:

  • The exchange of microorganisms between the terrestrial planets and the possibility of life on other planets.
  • The possibility of lava tubes on the moon that could provide shelter for human colonies.
  • The asteroid impact theory of dinosaur extinction.
  • The theory of the giant impact origin of the moon.

Contact: H. Jay Melosh,

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

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