By Maksym Abramov, NEOShield-2 Agent in Spain
On the 30th June 2017, I organized a workshop about NEOs, Meteoroids, Asteroids, and Comets. It was to commemorate Asteroid Day and it was about past impact events, the threat from space and our answer to that threat. The event took place at the Avanza Educational Center in Granada, in Spain and target students from all courses.
The workshop was divided in two parts. After a brief introduction, the first part got started, where I talked about mass extinction events on Earth in the past based on historical registers, such as the crater Chicxulub, and about the Chelyabinsk event, which have better coverage because of the amount of data that actually exists for our disposal thanks to recently expeditions to that places. I also talked about impact craters, how to distinguish them from volcanic craters, how they appear and what shapes and types exist, as well as their structure.
Closing the first part, it was offered a brief in group activity supported by Deimos (NEOShield-2 project member), who prepared a set of images from their satellite database. There were two groups of pictures – one with real impacts craters and other with volcanic craters and geological structures which appeared as craters. The participants were asked to find the real impact craters. It was a funny activity, people were intrigued and I received very positive feedback.
In this part I explained which initiatives and programs we as community (UNOOSA) elaborate to protect the Earth and what the NEOShield-2 project does for that common mission. I talked about strategies and the different techniques of mitigation measures associated to asteroids and comets threat. I also explained the purpose, differentiation and value of NEOTωIST as an necessary and important space demo mission to acquire more knowledge and scientific data about asteroids and how we can defend our planet from possible hazardous NEAs.
Later on, I briefly talked about the space missions to asteroids and comets in the past and present. I also talked about the near future of space exploration and exploitation of resources, which could be contained within hundreds of asteroids already identified as potentially rich in high value metals or indeed in the thousands of asteroids in existence whose composition has yet to be confirmed.
And for the end of the workshop, we made a brief excursion on culture background and the participants could see asteroids in literature, movies, and videogames. I delivered some pins, stickers, cards, and flyers from the NEOShield-2 project and people were gladly surprised.
In sum, people liked the new information they received and I liked this experience which I never had before. I am looking forward to my next workshops!
The NEOShield-2 team is very glad to have Maksym on board and very proud of his effort and commitment to the cause. We are looking forward to his future events in Spain.