Asteroid Day
Asteroid Day Logo HQ.png
Asteroid Day logo
Observed byWorldwide
TypeUnited Nations
DateJune 30
FrequencyAnnual
First time30 June 2015; 7 years ago (2015-06-30)

Asteroid Day (also known as International Asteroid Day) is an annual global event which is held on June 30, the anniversary of the Tunguska event in 1908, when a meteor air burst levelled about 2,150 km2 (830 sq mi) of forest in Siberia, Russia.[1][2][3] The United Nations has proclaimed it be observed globally on June 30 every year in its resolution.[4] Asteroid Day aims to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth, its families, communities, and future generations from a catastrophic event.

History

Asteroid Day was co-founded by Stephen Hawking, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, B612 Foundation president Danica Remy, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Brian May, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist.[3][5] Asteroid Day was launched[clarification needed] on December 3, 2014.[6] Remy, Schweickart, Richters and May co-founded[clarification needed] Asteroid Day in October 2014 which they announced during a press conference.[7]

Legacy

On Asteroid Day 2017, minor planet 248750 (discoverer M. Dawson) was officially named Asteroidday by the International Astronomical Union.[8]

Asteroid Day declaration

The workgroup of Asteroid Day created a declaration known as the "100X Declaration", which appeals to all scientists and technologists who support the idea of saving the earth from asteroids. Today, the 100X Declaration has been signed by more than 22,000 private citizens,[clarification needed] including those who are not specialists.[9][10][11][12]

Radar images and a computer model of an asteroid
Radar images and a computer model of an asteroid

Although more than 1,000,000 asteroids have the potential to strike the Earth, only about one percent have been discovered.[citation needed] The 100X Declaration calls for increasing the asteroid discovery rate to 100,000 (or 100x) per year within the next 10 years. It is hoped that this will bolster efforts for addressing potential strikes.[10]

The main three goals are:

  1. Employ available technology to detect and track near-earth asteroids that threaten human populations via governments and private and philanthropic organizations.
  2. A rapid hundred-fold acceleration of the discovery and tracking of near-earth asteroids to 100,000 per year within the next ten years.
  3. Global adoption of Asteroid Day, heightening awareness of the asteroid hazard and our efforts to prevent impacts, on June 30 – With the United Nations recognition, this action item has been achieved.[13]

Asteroid Day 2015–2019

According to information on asteroiday.org, there were over 2,000 events in its first five years of the day being announced, across 78 countries.[14] 41 astronauts and cosmonauts participated in activities on the day.[15] The general goal was to raise awareness about the threat posed by asteroid impacts. Institutions such as Institut de Ciències de l'Espai,[16] the Natural History Museum in Vienna,[17] the American Natural History Museum,[18] the California Academy of Sciences,[19] the Science Museum in London,[20] the SETI Institute,[21] the European Space Agency,[22] the UK Space Agency,[23] among others participated in educational activities.

United Nations

In February 2016, Romanian astronaut Dumitru Prunariu and the Association of Space Explorers submitted a proposal to the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations which was accepted by the subcommittee and in June 2016 the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space included the recommendation in its report. The report of the committee was presented for approval to the United Nations General Assembly's 71st session, which it approved on December 6, 2016.[24]

In its resolution the United Nations declares "30 June International Asteroid Day to observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908 and to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard."[25]

References

  1. ^ "Trigo-Rodríguez J.M., Palme H., Gritsevich M. (2017) Barcelona Asteroid Day 2015: Revisiting the Threat by Asteroid and Comet Impact. In: Trigo-Rodríguez J., Gritsevich M., Palme H. (eds) Assessment and Mitigation of Asteroid Impact Hazards. Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings, vol 46. Springer, Cham https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-46179-3_1"
  2. ^ Wall, Mike. "'Asteroid Day' to Raise Awareness of Space Rock Threat" Space.com Dec. 3, 2014. http://www.space.com/27921-asteroid-day-dangerous-near-earth-objects.html
  3. ^ a b Clark, Dr. Stuart. "Second anniversary of Chelyabinsk meteorite strike" The Guardian Feb. 15, 2015. https://www.theguardian.com/science/across-the-universe/2015/feb/15/second-anniversary-of-chelyabinsk-meteorite-strike
  4. ^ https://www.un.org/en/observances/asteroid-day. United Nations. Accessed 30 June 2021.
  5. ^ ">Elgan Rhodri Hearn. "Spaceguard centre in Knighton pay tribute to scientific genius Stephen Hawking" Country Times March 14, 2018. https://www.countytimes.co.uk/news/16086132.spaceguard-centre-in-knighton-pay-tribute-to-scientific-genius-stephen-hawking/
  6. ^ Knapton, Sarah. "Asteroids could wipe out humanity, warn Richard Dawkins and Brian Cox" The Telegraph Dec. 4, 2014. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/11272393/Asteroids-could-wipe-out-humanity-warn-Richard-Dawkins-and-Brian-Cox.html
  7. ^ Blitzer, Jonathan. "The Age of Asteroids" The New Yorker Dec. 10, 2014. http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/age-asteroids
  8. ^ Minor Planet Center
  9. ^ Asteroid Day List of Signatories Archived 2017-05-18 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ a b "Our story" AsteroidDay.org http://www.asteroidday.org/our-story Archived 2017-07-01 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Rao, Nathan. "Scores of GIANT asteroids on course to hurtle past Earth within the month, NASA reveals" Express Jan. 1, 2015. http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/549722/Giant-asteroids-close-Earth-month-February-Nasa
  12. ^ Highfield, Roger. "Asteroid Day Declaration at Science Museum" The Science Museum, Blog December 4, 2014. http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/asteroid-day-declaration-at-science-museum
  13. ^ Rob Verger. "International Asteroid Day will be June 30, UN proclaims" FOX News, Dec. 7, 2016. http://www.foxnews.com/science/2016/12/07/international-asteroid-day-will-be-june-30-un-proclaims.html
  14. ^ "AsteroidDay.org Events page" Asteroidday.org http://www.asteroidday.org/events
  15. ^ "Get set for Asteroid Day" Astronomy Magazine June 24, 2015. http://www.astronomy.com/news/2015/06/get-set-for-asteroid-day
  16. ^ "Assessment and Mitigation of Asteroid Impact Hazards, Trigo-Rodríguez J.M., Gritsevich M., Palme H. (Eds.) Proceedings of the 2015 Barcelona Asteroid Day. Springer International Publishing (2017), https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-46179-3"
  17. ^ "Der erste Internationale ASTEROID DAY" NHM Vienna June 30, 2015. http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/veranstaltungsprogramm/1_internationaler_asteroid_day
  18. ^ Johnson, Billy. "Happy Asteroid Day: We Are Woefully Unprepared!" Newsweek, June 30, 2015. http://www.newsweek.com/happy-asteroid-awareness-day-were-all-going-die-348887
  19. ^ "Asteroid Day San Francisco" SpaceRef, June 30, 2015. http://spaceref.com/calendar/calendar.html?pid=8757
  20. ^ Highfield, Roger. "Why is Asteroid Day important?" Inside the Science Museum, blog, June 11, 2015. http://blog.sciencemuseum.org.uk/why-is-asteroid-day-important/
  21. ^ "Asteroid Day Special Event – Michael Busch and Peter Jenniskens (SETI Talks)" SETI Institute June 30, 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1DkX639kUk
  22. ^ "Asteroid Day – ESA Experts Explain the Nature and Threat of Asteroids" ESA Space videos, June 30, 2015. http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Videos/2015/06/Asteroid_Day_-_ESA_experts_explain_the_nature_and_threat_of_asteroids
  23. ^ "It's #AsteroidDay! @51degreesmovie premiers tonight @sciencemuseum, raising awareness of asteroid threats from space" UK Space Agency Twitter account, June 30, 2015. https://twitter.com/spacegovuk/status/615809854800670721
  24. ^ ESA. "UN recognises 30 June as Asteroid Day".
  25. ^ UNGA Resolution 2016 (A_71_492), "International cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space" December 6, 2016. https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B26qPfEwFxyCMnVjZVNCOFhYcW12QXJIUUN6WU1oRXhuRHZv