This Science Tuesday is dedicated to the Comet Interceptor space mission, that will help Estonia make history. The main guest is Mihkel Pajusalu, Senior Research Fellow in Space Technology at Tartu Observatory, who is responsible for the development of the main instrument of the mission right here in Estonia.
The Science Tuesday will take place on March 10 at 6 PM at Barlova (Tähe 29, Tartu).
The objective of the mission is to study a comet from the Öpik–Oort cloud which surrounds the sun. It will be the first to visit a truly pristine comet or other interstellar object that is only just starting its journey into the inner Solar System. Interstellar objects such as this can offer completely new information about the origin of life in our solar system as well as potential future threats.
To intercept the object, an Optical Imager for Comets (OPIC) will be built in Tõravere – this is the process led by Pajusalu. It is the first known time for an instrument built in Estonia to reach deep space. It is also the first time for Estonia to participate in all of the stages of a grand ESA mission as an equal partner.
Mihkel Pajusalu arrived back to Estonia from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last year. He was also the leader of the electricity subsystem of the first Estonian satellite ESTCube-1.
Tartu Obseravatory's band will play at the event.
Science Tuesdays are discussion nights organized by the UT Tartu Observatoorium. They form a series of events where live music, a pleasant company and science meet. Science Tuesdays are held on the second Tuesday of each month.