You probably know that scientists now believe that the dinosaurs were wiped out by a huge meteorite impact 65 million years ago. You may not realize that the Earth has been bombarded repeated by meteorites large and small, and that there is a small but genuine risk that a large asteroid may hit the Earth during our lifetime. Dr. Fiske will discuss the evidence for meteorite impact on Earth as well as his recent work in southeast Asia. There, he is investigating evidence of a large meteorite impact that took place about 700,000 years ago.

Today you will learn

  • How often do asteroids hit the Earth?
  • Where do asteroids and meteorites come from?
  • What happened to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago?
  • What is the evidence for a large meteorite impact 65 million years ago?
  • What is a tektite?
  • How many impact craters have been identified on Earth? On the Moon? Why the difference?
  • Which movie was more accurate: Deep Impact or Armageddon?

Speaker Bios

Dr. Peter Fiske

Dr. Peter S. Fiske earned a Bachelor's degree in Geology at Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Geochemistry and Materials Science from Stanford University. He came to the lab in 1993. Dr. Fiske runs an experimental research facility that conducts impact studies. He has conducted field expeditions to study impact craters in Montana, Arizona, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.