This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

25 June 2008

Dave Morrison: NEO News (06/25/08) Burger Bar that Saved the World

Dave Morrison's NEO News comments on the recent series of Articles in Nature (including one article in particular). Here is the NEO News (06/25/08) Burger Bar that Saved the World issue...

NEO News (06/25/08) Burger Bar that Saved the World

Nature is publishing a special edition this week on the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska impact. The first part to be released is this historical summary assembled by David Chandler from a series of separate interviews. The text is below, but I especially call your attention to the enclosed pdf file with the illustrations. The introductory "burger bar" cartoon is really funny (something we don't often say about NEOs).

Most of the history recounted here strikes me as accurate, except perhaps the statements that Gene Shoemaker resisted the idea that there was an impact hazard up until the discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. My own experience over the preceding decade was that Gene understood the issues as well as any of us and fully supported the recommendations of the Spaceguard Survey workshop, a report to which Gene made important contributions. The split in the early 1990s was between the nuclear weapons labs and the astronomers, not among us astronomers. I credit Pete Worden's organization of the Erice NEO workshop, and Tom Gehrels for the Tucson Hazards meeting (both held in early 1993), for closing much of that rift between these two scientific communities.

David Morrison

NEO News (now in its fourteenth year of distribution) is an informal compilation of news and opinion dealing with Near Earth Objects (NEOs) and their impacts. These opinions are the responsibility of the individual authors and do not represent the positions of NASA, Ames Research Center, the International Astronomical Union, or any other organization. To subscribe (or unsubscribe) contact For additional information, please see the website If anyone wishes to copy or redistribute original material from these notes, fully or in part, please include this disclaimer.

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