Martin Towner

Astronomy is not only about looking at the stars, their motions and relationship to each other, but also understanding the dangers which occupy NASA, the ESA and other organisations on a daily basis.
one such concern is the increasing number of transient objects which cross the Earth’s orbit called NEOs (Near Earth Object). These rocky objects of varying sizes and consistence are theorised to be part of why we exist on Earth, through the process of panspermia, where bacteria may have come from very far away, and crashed on our blue planet to form new types of organisms, but also are the cause of the disruption of evolution, by burning through the atmosphere, and exploding onto the Earth’s surface, clouding our planet for years in thick dust, with catastrophic consequences.
This may sound very defeatist at first, but those events occur very rarely in the scale of our universe, but we can’t neglect the fact that this is a non zero probability. And most objects which do make it through the protective layers of our atmosphere end up as harmless rocky pieces ending their trajectory in random areas across the planet.
Dr. Towner’s multi camera sky survey system, called the Fireball network, tries to identify these falling celestial objects with the goal of salvaging them to better understand why we exist.
Lesian has gone quite far in her creative juices with this one, by adding an LED strobe inside the 3D model as you can see in the pictures.
You can hear about the Fireball network he