June 30 is always an exciting day for space enthusiasts worldwide because it marks the celebration of International Asteroid Day.
In December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/71/90, declaring 30 June International Asteroid Day in order 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.” Since then, the day has grown into an international movement, with more than 200 organizations and thousands of individuals coming together to raise awareness about asteroids.
The events and activities of International Asteroid Day are varied and cover a wide range of topics. From talks by leading scientists to exhibitions showcasing the latest research on asteroids, there’s something for everyone. You can attend events online or in-person, depending on your location. You can also participate in social media campaigns to spread awareness and join the conversation about asteroids. For instance, you can use the hashtag #AsteroidDay to join the conversation about asteroids on Twitter.
Asteroids have always held a special fascination for me, ever since I learned what happened to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. And that another similar extinction level event could wipe out life again in the future.
Indeed, one of the main aims of International Asteroid Day is to raise awareness about the NEO (Near Earth Object) detection and mitigation efforts. The goal is to develop the technology necessary to detect and deflect asteroids that come too close to Earth, thereby reducing the risk of impact. This effort requires the collaboration of scientists, engineers, policymakers, and the public in general. International Asteroid Day provides a platform for all these groups to come together, exchange ideas, and collaborate towards a common goal.
A celebration of science & space exploration
Most importantly, International Asteroid Day is an opportunity to learn about asteroids, their impact on our planet, and the efforts being made to protect Earth. The day highlights the importance of scientific research and the role it plays in our lives. It’s a day to celebrate the wonder and beauty of our solar system and to remind ourselves of our place in the universe.
Making an impact
Attending an International Asteroid Day event or participating in a social media campaign shows that we care about our planet and the importance of space exploration. Let’s celebrate International Asteroid Day by learning about asteroids and raising awareness about their impact on our planet.
- International Asteroid Warning Network
- Space Mission Planning Advisory Group
- NASA’s center for computing asteroid and comet orbits and their odds of Earth impact
- NASA Asteroid Watch
- NEO Coordination Centre
- United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
- United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
- United Nations Coordination of Outer Space Activities
- World Space Week (4-10 October)