Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids – T. Gehrels

Now that the Chelyabinsk bolide has our attention briefly, here are the first four of seven posts about Earth impactor popular  science books or textbooks to suggest to your local college library. Give Chelyabinsk-inspired students some reference and study materials for their efforts to help the Earth avoid a hard rain someday.

Tom Gehrels and others edited and wrote Asteroids in 1979, followed with Asteroids II by Richard P. Binzel, Tom Gehrels and Mildred Shapely Matthews in 1989 as part of the excellent Arizona Space Series.

Noticing that earthpeople still weren’t seriously discussing the threat of earth-impactors, they came up with a catchier, more memorable title for their next related volume – Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids edited by T. Gehrels in 1995. 1300 pages, 4 pound/2kg hardback, University of Arizona Press, U$62 at Amazon, list price U$85. The best financial bargain of the textbooks in terms of technical papers per dollar.

This is the textbook/collection of papers that I’m recommending first and most highly. Summary: when the equivalent mass of a hundred million copies of this book hits this world as one object, ‘we in trouble!’ 🙂

‘Hazards’ contains 46 papers, divided by topic into 8 parts:

  1. Small Bodies – 4 papers;
  2. Searches, Orbit Determination, and Prediction – 6 papers, including Warning Times and Impact Probabilities for Long-Period Comets by Marsden and Steel;
  3. NEO Populations and Impact Flux – 7 papers including The Record of Past Impacts on Earth by Grieve and EM Shoemaker
  4. Physical Properties – 4 papers;
  5. Space Exploration – 3 papers;
  6. Effects of NEO Impact – 7 papers – including Tsunami Generated By Small Asteroid Impacts by Hills, Nemchinov, Popov, and Teterev;
  7. Hazard Mitigation – 9 papers including the critically urgent ‘Terminal Intercept For Less Than One Orbital Period Warning’ by Solem and Snell;
  8. and lastly, Considerations for Future Work.

Hazards Due to Comets and Asteroids edited by T. Gehrels in 1995. 1300 pages, 4 pound/2kg hardback, University of Arizona Press, U$62 at Amazon.
(William F. Bottke, Alberto Cellino, Paolo Paolicchi and Richard P. Binzel returned to the original series with Asteroids III in 2002.)

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