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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Scientists, engineers and policymakers are gathering in Flagstaff to talk about how to protect the planet from asteroids.

The Planetary Defense Conference is scheduled April 15-19 on the Northern Arizona University campus.

The conference includes an exercise where participants will decide how to deflect an asteroid and develop a civil defense response.

Two of the events are free and open to the public.

One is a pre-conference discussion on April 14 about a meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains earlier this year. The meteor was the largest recorded space rock to hit Earth in more than a century and injured nearly 1,500 people.

The other is an April 17 talk on planetary defense featuring Bill Nye The Science Guy and Geoff Notkin of the Science Channel's Meteorite Men.

Associated Press,

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