Distinguished Speaker Series – Talk 01 – Nalin Samarasinha

The Inaugural Talk of the CUFSAA Distinguished Speaker Series organized in association with the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo was delivered by Dr. Nalin Samarasinha on April 27th 2022, 10:30AM Eastern Time (April 27th 2022, 8:00pm Sri Lankan Time).

Title: Asteroid Colombounilanka and Contributions to Astronomy by University of Colombo

Brief Bio: Nalin H. Samarasinha received BSc (Physics Honours) from the University of Colombo and MS and PhD (Astronomy) from the University of Maryland. He works at the Planetary Science Institute in Arizona, USA as a Senior Scientist. He studies small bodies of the Solar System, focusing on comets. The International Astronomical Union in 2002 named asteroid (12871) Samarasinha, in recognition of his contributions to comet science. He is the co-discoverer of asteroid (607372) Colombounilanka.

Abstract: I will present a brief introduction to asteroids and discuss the discovery and naming of the asteroid (607372) Colombounilanka. The internationally recognized accomplishments by the alumni of the University of Colombo who have made direct contributions to astronomy and the services performed by the University of Colombo academic staff and alumni in the arena of astronomy education and public outreach over many decades will be discussed thus providing a strong rationale for the naming of Colombounilanka after the University.

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CUFSAA Distinguished Speaker Series is organized by the Speaker Series subcommittee of CUFSAA-NA in association with the Faculty of Science, University of Colombo.  If you would like to contact the subcommittee please write to us at speaker-series@cufsaa.org. We are particularly interested in hearing from our members with topic and speaker suggestions. Thank you!