Join Dr. Peter Jenniskens from the SETI Institute for a presentation on The Sutter's Mill Meteorite Fall in California's Gold Country. On April 22, 2012, a bomb-like detonation was heard in a wide area around Lake Tahoe. A small asteroid had crashed in our atmosphere, broke in fragments, and pieces of the asteroid fell down over the Colama/Lotus region. This is right above Sutter's Mill where James Marshall's discovery of gold in 1848 led to the California Gold Rush. The recent fall of the meteorites has created a second rush in the area, now many are trying to recover the precious space rocks. SETI Institute meteor astronomer Dr. Peter Jenniskens found the second recovered meteorite from this fall. Jenniskens will talk about the efforts made by NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute to coordinate the recovery and learn as much as possible about the asteroid that shook people's imagination.
Peter Jenniskens latest project took him and 27 researchers on NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory for a mission to study the re-entry of JAXA's Hayabusa mission in June of 2010. Before that, he had been the Principal Investigator of a number of airborne observing campaigns that studied meteor showers and the fireballs created when spacecraft returned from interplanetary space. He received his Ph.D.in astronomy from Leiden University in the Netherlands and has since been associated with NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute. He is the author of "Meteor Showers and their Parent Comets" (2006).