Sunday, July 1, 2018

Natalie Starkey

Natalie Starkey's new book is Catching Stardust: Comets, Asteroids and the Birth of the Solar System.

From her Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: In your new book, you ask whether comets and asteroids should be feared or revered. How would you answer that, and are there reasons that both might be true?

A: As someone who has studied comets and asteroids for much of my career I truly believe that they should be revered.

While these small space objects have the potential to wreak havoc on Earth if they collide with our precious planet in the future, the more we learn about them now – about what they are made of and how they behave – will better prepare us to deal with one if it’s headed our way.

Comets and asteroids are ancient explorers of the Solar System, born at a time before the planets existed and as such they hold a wealth of information about the early Solar System. If we want to discover how life and water arrived on Earth, then we need to study these small enigmatic cosmic voyagers to see if they’ll reveal their 4.6-billion-year-old secrets.

Q: What first intrigued you about comets and asteroids, and what do you see as some of the most common perceptions and misperceptions about them?

A: For many years I’ve been fascinated by...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue