Published on Monday February 12, 2007
Dee Breger, director of microscopy, was recently quoted in the lead story in the Science section of The New York Times for her involvement with the Holocene Impact Working Group.
The story has also led to a one-hour documentary called “Holocene Oceanic Impacts” on the History Channel’s Mega Disasters series. Breger and Abbott were filmed in Drexel’s Materials Characterization Facility on January 31, 2006, while working together on the analytical SEM. The SEM images microscopic fragments related to impacts, which include bits of Earth rock, microscopic shells of single-celled marine organisms, and other materials. The microscope’s attached X-ray analyzer determines the chemical compositions of the fragments. Characterizing these fragments helps support evidence of the impacts of asteroids and comets on the Earth. Breger and Abbott were also each featured individually in an interview for the documentary. The first broadcast of the History Channel documentary is scheduled for June 2007. A similar documentary by the National Geographic Channel is in the planning stages.