Comets in Human History

Presented by Assoc Prof Victor Gostin, University of Adelaide

Earth's encounters with comets has led to megafaunal extinctions and collapse of Chinese dynasties. Throughout history, comets have been seen as omens of change and disaster in many cultures. The legends of St Michael, feathered serpents, and celestial dragons are some examples of these encounters. Given that the 12,900 BP cometary impact event (called the Younger Dryas) created massive wildfires etc it also caused the extinction of numerous large animals like the mammoth (megafauna).

Bio: Dr. Gostin has been researching and teaching geology and planetary science at the University of Adelaide since 1970. He is interested in the evolution of the solar system and of life, in Earth history, in meteorite impacts, and in our natural environment. His other interests include sketching the Australian outback. Victor is keen to popularise earth and planetary sciences to the community through lectures and radio. Asteroid 3640 Gostin is named in recognition of his discovery of the widespread debris as a result of Australia’s largest asteroid impact at Acraman in the Gawler Ranges, South Australia.

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Wednesday 01 May 2019

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Kerr Grant Theatre 2nd Floor, Physics Building, University of Adelaide, North Tce



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