A lecture on the massive explosion caused by a meteor or comet in northern Russia in 1908. Had the event been 6 hours and 45 minutes later, then it would have occured over London and the detonation would has destroyed the City in what was the equivalent of a 30 megaton nuclear bomb.
Head of Planetary and Space Sciences, Open University, and Principal Investigator for the Beagle 2, Mars Express. Professor Pilligner was the Gresham Professor of Astronomy between 1996 and 2000.
Having begun his career on the Apollo Programme, analysing samples of moon rock, Colin is now working with NASA to develop a craft to search for water on the dark side of the moon. The long-term plan is to establish a permanent station at the lunar south pole.
Colin also has an ongoing involvement with ESA's Rosetta mission, seeking to expand our knowledge of the origins of the Solar System. After a ten-year journey the spacecraft is programmed to rendezvous with a comet, drop a lander onto the surface and travel with it towards the sun - sending back a mass of scientific data.